Evaluation Of My Portfolio

I’m at the end of my research into being a professional in my chosen career of video editing, and  at the end of my degree. So, I must evaluate how well my portfolio suits me in my transition into being an industry professional.

When looking at the content in my portfolio, I feel I have presented myself in a professional fashion but still have a lot which I can improve on, through professional and technical development. But, through the research that I have done, I now know how to improve myself in the correct manner.

Whilst the portfolio isn’t the be all and end all in terms of my long term success, it is a gate opener in allowing people to give me the opportunities. I need to be able to present myself in a manner which is pleasing. So, I asked an industry professional, Marqus Akc’ent, a video editor for the BBC radio show with Charlie Sloth, to comment on the standard of my portfolio. I received this response:

“Hi Aidan,

I have looked through your portfolio and I have to say that the website is impressive. It looks very modern and you’ve done a good job in keeping all the information accessible. 

I was very interesting in the range of different projects you offered in your portfolio as it seemed quite diverse. Perhaps it could be improved by offering  more information about your projects as you have teased them well without offering too much in the way of information. 

All in all, I believe your portfolio to be well rounded and offer out relevant information for potential employers.

I look forward to seeing more in the future.”

Hearing the good words from him has given me a massive confidence boost that I am moving in the right direction and that I am appearing to be a professional in the industry. The constructive criticism has been noted that I could offer more information about the projects rather than just showing small clips and I will work to add in further links/information to other projects/sample edits.

When thinking about developing my portfolio in the future, I will be taking on advice I have received first hand and improving my portfolio due to the comments made. Furthermore, when looking at a video on how to improve your portfolio and they say “you should be always looking to update your portfolio and keep it current.” (Vitamintalent.com, 2016) So, I will be constantly updating my body of work with new, relevant and more information.

References

Vitamintalent.com, (2016) 4 Quick Tips To Improve Your Online Portfolio (VIDEO) [online] available from <http://vitamintalent.com/vitabites/four-quick-tips-to-improve-your-online-portfolio-video&gt; [12 May 2016]

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Building a Portfolio

When looking at the research I made in my previous blog post about creating a portfolio, I discovered that ‘sites have become a hub for the independent filmmaking community, and are a vital resource.’ (Raindance, 2013) and that creating my portfolio on a website was imperative. Using the information I obtained, I have developed my own portfolio. From my research I decided that a website was a lot more of a fitting resource for my line of work. Using the website tool Wix, I can make my website very professional looking whilst also saving time and resources. (Wix.com, 2016)

I used a template and edited it to keep it original and make it personal to myself. I wanted the design to remain sleek whilst not distracting from the information I am presenting as well as adding to the idea of professionalism I want to present. I have done this by using modern fonts and dark and sleek colours.

All the images below are taken from my website at http://www.reillyfilmandediting.wix.com/reilly/

(Reillyfilmandediting.wix.com, 2016)

HOMEPAGE

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In order to get the idea of what I produce from the offset available to the audience, I put images of my involvement in some productions as well as my logo.

ABOUT

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It’s said that the about page “is where they come to learn more about your company and the people behind the brand” (Bluefountainmedia.com, 2016) So I needed to incorporate these ideas into my about page whilst still making it look professional and easy to read.  I managed to briefly give the information about my business and how we run in a personal and professional way whilst still making it look sleek through the design around the information.

CONTACT

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When looking at other websites, as mentioned in my previous post, there was always a way in which the individuals can get in contact.  When researching how to make a killer contact page, the main tip I found was not “to put too many barriers between the site visitors and the contact information they’re looking for. Keep your contact us page short, sweet, and to the point.” (Wordstream.com, 2015) So I have arranged all the information so it’s very easy to access, giving them 5 different ways to get into contact with me so they can easily find a way.

PORTFOLIO

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After doing research into the importance of a CV to an employer, finding out that “your CV will be, without doubt, the single most important part of getting a job.” (Monster.co.uk, 2016) So, if this is the single most important part, I should be displaying it in an area which potential employers may be looking, hence the inclusion of it.

I have also included my showreel on this page to demonstrate my skills as a video editor further. Given that showreels are “critical marketing materials for any creative professional.” (Premimumbeat.com, 2013) I decided it was an imperative part to include in my portfolio, as it is another, and key, part of marketing myself as a professional. However, it is also recommended to not just include the showreel and to instead include “a portfolio of work clients can browse through and watch as much of a piece as they want.” (Premiumbeat.com, 2013). So, I have added in a few sample edits of other work I have done to further show my skills.

When creating my showreel, I looked into how to best present my work in this format, I found “it’s best to mix those moments in with other clips over a montage. Other times it’s best to just get straight to the point and make a showreel with just scenes.” (Slickshowreels.co.uk, 2015) So, since my intention was to show my editing skills, I chose the clips and scenes and only showed the moments that got to the point of what I’m trying to present. When presenting this information I “need to be able to feel whether the clips flow together(Slickshowreels.co.uk, 2015). This is particularly imperative to my field of work as I am trying to show of my ability to do exactly that, so I was very particular in my clip transitions and made sure it all made sense and flowed.

Now that I have created this professional platform to market my abilities, I have linked it to all my work, both physical and technological, adding it to all of my work.  I will be able to use this as a tool to be able to show what I have to offer and convince people I am a professional.

References

Bluefountainmedia.com. (2016) 5 Must Have Elements For Inspiring About Us Pages [online] available from <http://www.bluefountainmedia.com/blog/5-creative-elements-for-creating-inspiring-about-us-pages/&gt; [11 April 2016]

Monster.co.uk, (2016) What Does CV Stand For | What Is A CV | Monster.Co.Uk [online] available from <http://www.monster.co.uk/career-advice/article/what-is-a-cv-and-why-is-it-important&gt; [11 April 2016]

Premiumbeat.com, (2013) 6 Ways To Make Your Showreel Or Demo Reel Stand Out[online] available from <http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/demo-reel-showreel-tips/&gt; [4 May 2016]

Raindance.org, (2013) Top 13 Sites For Independent Filmmakers – Raindance[online] available from <http://www.raindance.org/top-13-sites-for-independent-filmmakers/&gt; [10 February 2016]

Reillyfilmandediting.wix.com, (2016) Reilly [online] available from <http://reillyfilmandediting.wix.com/reilly&gt; [11 April 2016]

Slickshowreels.co.uk, (2015) HOW TO MAKE A SHOWREEL [online] available from <http://slickshowreels.co.uk/how_to_make_a_showreel/&gt; [7 May 2016]

Wix.com, (2016) Free Website Builder | Create A Free Website | WIX.Com [online] available from <http://www.wix.com&gt; [11 March 2016]

Wordstream.com, (2015) How To Make A Rocking ‘Contact Us’ Page: 21+ Tips, Tricks, And Examples | Wordstream [online] available from <http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/03/11/contact-us-page&gt; [11 April 2016]

 

Project Evaluation/Critical Analysis

FINAL FILM:

In the grand scheme of things, I am happy with my final film. However, as it is the largest project I have ever undertaken, there is a lot that I could have done to a higher standard and a lot I can learn from the experience as a whole to move forward both professionally and creatively.

In terms of my topic, I feel that the subject matter was spot on and it was the right decision to choose the currently relevant topic of Tinder that I had a passion for telling a story about. I was able to delve deep into a topic and tell a piece of genuine human interest and reveal a grounded view of what your typical user encounters on the application.  Whilst I feel this was a good idea, it perhaps may have been better to do the experiment over a larger timespan as it would have created a larger opportunity to have more interesting developments happen.

Pre-production

When undertaking the entire pre-production job by myself, I found it very difficult but highly beneficial. As I was working alone, I had to rely solely on myself for all aspects of research and development. This became particularly noticeable when I had to keep in contact with all of my four participants throughout and arrange shooting with each of them simultaneously whilst ensuring it was all done professionally. Furthermore, I had to push myself to understand the ins and outs of every detail and ensure that every loose end was tied up, jobs such as getting release forms signed, recce forms and shooting schedules became imperative to me. This has improved my confidence in creating a production and in my own abilities to take charge unequivocally.

In terms of pre-production skills, I developed my planning skills the most. Often, I would just turn up to a location without planning in advance before this project. However, when you are investing so much of your time and money into a film you take things more seriously to ensure that you are not wasting your own and your crew’s time. Using location recce forms, equipment forms and scouting locations made everything unambiguously more organised and successful.

Production

During production, it was a very interesting learning experience. As I wouldn’t be there to oversee every part of every shoot, as some would be vlogs, I had to ensure that my vision was passed on to anyone who held a camera. I learnt a lot about communicating my creative vision and trying my best to achieve it through improving my techniques.

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Overall, I was pleased with how well I was able to adapt to new situations. However, it was quite difficult to do so when I ran into problems with the shoots. In a few shoots I had the problem of discovering issues after shooting that were one off shoots than only had one opportunity for it to work. So, it made me have a lot of issues in post production that lead to be having some less than stellar footage that I had to do my best with. Despite doing planning in advance and creating a location recce form that I adhered too, I perhaps should have planned a formal test shoot beforehand to ensure that everything was entirely up to scratch. However, this motivated to ensure I had everything perfect in later shoots and perform formal test shoots with individuals that I could not reshoot. This paid off as I was much happier with the later shoots’ footage. Although some of the footage I got was less than perfect it has been vastly helpful in improving my professional experience.

Directing

During the duration of my production, I had to direct 4 different participants and 1 cameraman, all of which had varied experiences in operating cameras and audio equipment that I had to convey my vision to, testing my skills as a director. As I wouldn’t be there to oversee every single shoot as some were vlogs, I had to be able to pass my vision onto the participants very well and show that I was confident in what I want and be able to convey that clearly and concisely. It of course was a very stressful experience as I couldn’t always see what was happening and didn’t know for sure that it was of a good standard, but I had to trust that I had briefed them enough. The footage was not always to the high standard I would have hoped, this could have perhaps been improved by either briefing them even further or by hiring a production assistant that could have helped in communicating and visiting the contributors. However, it has been very beneficial experience in dealing with documentary contributors and how to deal with them effectively.

Post Production

As I mentioned previously, I left myself with a lot of work to do in post production, leaving myself with a lot of perfecting to do to make my project and interesting and technically good. When working with the footage, it was a massive test to be able to have the patience to be able to edit the clips in a way which was interesting and technically good as some of it was not up the the standard I wanted. However, this helped in building my technical skills and my character in the face of adversity and moving past it towards the goal I intended. Whilst the entire experience of post production was given enough time if everything went perfectly, I perhaps should have respected the process more and allowed time incase everything didn’t go to plan so I didn’t have to stress and rush my edit. Sadly, I ended up paying for this error and the final product isn’t completely as good as I wished it to be. I will learn from this experience in the future and allow myself more time so I don’t have to deal with this disappointment again. Whilst it is good to be optimistic and confident about my abilities, I shouldn’t be over-confident and I should allow myself time to make mistakes.

Professional Context

Unfortunately I have not had loads of interest in passing this documentary onto any networks. Sadly,  I do not believe the shooting specifications are up to scratch into passing it on to networks. This is something I should have took into greater consideration before shooting to ensure I had the opportunity to present my project as a completed, high value piece. However, I do believe the idea is good enough. So, I aim to use this documentary as a proof of concept and try and sell the idea and perhaps reshoot it in the network’s vision if I am given the opportunity. Even if I was not given the opportunity to do so under a network’s funding, I was hoping I would be able to fund remaking the documentary on a higher budget through making profit out of the current cut. I then would be able to improve my camera and audio quality, the nature of the participants and my post production in being able to hire an editing assistant.

When looking at similar documentaries and comparing them to my finished product, there are a lot of similarities in the the two of them as I tried to base my style around theirs. Documentaries such as ‘The Secret World of Tinder’ (Channel 4, 2016) are ones which I base my style and ways of representing the subject matter around. As it is on the Tinder also, it provided a good starting point in regards to how they dealt with representing the topic which I was able to use. They only would mention the topic very briefly and instead focus on the individual and their story, something which I carried across to my production.

Like the above, my idea was being an observational, fly on the wall, type of part of my participant’s experiences. Despite following this guideline quite strictly, I perhaps did it too much so, giving too little information about Tinder and assuming too much knowledge of the viewer. I did this as a style choice so they learnt about the app along with the participants, going on a journey together, but this idea didn’t work as well as I hoped when reviewing it as they didn’t get to know some key information they perhaps should have known.

I also used the BBC documentary, ‘The Age of Loneliness’ (BBC, 2016) as one of my prime examples which I found greatly useful. This helped in using techniques which helps in offering a more grounded view of more down to earth, not extravagant people. However, whilst I used many of the techniques such as music and shooting styles, I could have perhaps improved it further by adding it more of a variety of shots to reflect moods, focusing on the emotions behind the words rather than the words themselves. By following the stylistics of these documentaries by network television, it helped in ensuring I followed a professional guideline but at the same time it limited me creatively and should have not taken it quite so seriously.

Fitting Documentary Format

When Stephen Reynolds came in to the university to speak about his film, I managed to pick his brain about the documentary format and he spoke to me about how all documentaries should reveal a truth, but it’s the truth we choose to tell so it’s partially constructed. I had this in the back of my mind throughout the production, trying to tell the truth that I wanted to tell. I felt like by including certain signs and signifiers in my edit such as certain parts of interviews, I helped lead my viewers toward seeing the truth that I wanted to tell.

I got inspired by certain other elements in the documentaries I previously mentioned, elements which I believed helped in telling the truth I wanted to tell. This included adding elements of interviews which structured the environment to get the participants to talk about the subject matters I wanted them to, guiding them to a decision on the topic. However, this could have perhaps been done better through placing them in an even more structured environment, meaning they would have to use the application more, also ensuring they would find the truth I wanted to show more naturally, helping enforce the integrity of the documentary format.

Did I achieve what I set out to?

As documentary cannot be truly planned and you can just set a framework in order to achieve success and plan to be able to adapt to the ever changing circumstances. For example, I initially planned for my documentary to just follow two people but after consideration I decided that 4 people of different genders and situations was the best examples. As I had the example of ‘The Secret World of Tinder’ I wanted to produce a documentary that had a similar style but focused on the lighter, more realistic version of the user base which was a new concept. I feel I achieved in showing how these users interact with the application through passion and studying the form and style which allowed me to present this information.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the largest thing I learnt from creating this production is how to be a professional. When looking back at the process, I am proud of the progression I have made as a media producer. Despite the fact that the end product may not completely match my vision, the experience and what I have learnt from it has been invaluable, improving my technical skills and my knowledge vastly.

Whilst I can’t speak to what the public’s opinion is as it hasn’t been publicly viewed and shared yet, the people I have shared the footage with say it is compelling and funny. Despite it not being technically the most amazing footage, I feel I definitely achieved what I set out to achieve in terms of subject matter and editing it to be interesting.

However, I think it was less than perfect in the way the footage was shot, I learnt as I went along and improved on my weaknesses. I should have perhaps hired more crew to ensure that I have a second eye on all matters and so I didn’t spread my attentions too thin.  From all this I have learned, I can definitely improve myself and move forward in a positive manner that will help all of my future productions.

References

BBC. (2016) The Age Of Loneliness – BBC One [online] available from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vkhr5&gt; [5 May 2016]

Channel 4. (2016) The Secret World Of Tinder [online] available from <http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-secret-world-of-tinder&gt; [5 May 2016]

Trailer Critical Evaluation/Process

This is my final trailer, which I have posted on my Twitter, Facebook and website, http://reillyfilmandediting.wix.com/documentary which I have talked about all of their production previously.

I was inspired by trailers of similar subject matters and began creating my trailer to a similar ideal. I spoke about how I wanted to tease the audience into watching the full length documentary by using one liners. I feel I did this effectively through the use of short cuts to lines said by every participant. These one liners don’t give away much information but do ask a question of the audience that they should want to know the answer to. Whilst I did it quite comically, I could have perhaps focused on the deeper side of the documentary, also asking an emotional question to be answered rather than just a comical one.

I said I wanted to offer the character of the individuals involved. I feel this was done fairly well as I cherry picked quotes to give an idea of how that contributor’s personality is perceived in the documentary, whilst not giving too much away. However, this could have perhaps been improved by adding in a range of emotions from each individual and presenting them to be more multifaceted which would in turn ask more questions that the audience would want to watch the documentary to answer.

Furthermore, I wanted to plant the idea of the topic within the trailer. Through the use of techniques I saw in trailers such as ‘Blind Date’ (Anon, 2016) where they reinforced the topic matter through quotes from the participants, the soundtrack and graphics. I applied all these techniques; I only used quotes which were obviously about the main topic, the music used was of a tempo and genre which matched and the graphics gave key information about the documentary, including letting the audience know the release date and using relevant cuts using the glitch effect to show it is a modern topic about technology. Despite doing all this, I perhaps feel I was too subtle about the genre. When speaking about presenting a topic you’re passionate about, Barth once said “assume your audience is intelligent but KNOWS NOTHING about your subject, including jargon and tiresome abbreviations” (Anon, 2016) and I assumed too much prior knowledge of the subject matter, not once mentioning explicitly what the documentary is about. I instead offered fleeting words which hinted towards what I was creating, which whilst is teasing towards knowledgeable people on the subject matter, probably wasn’t the smartest idea for the most part.

Despite my final cut of my documentary not being available for viewing yet, I am able to judge how successful my film is due to the response to the trailer, most of which has been wildly positive. I have had various comments saying that they can’t wait to see the full version which fills me with confidence that I have achieved my previously set out aims for the trailer. In terms of my own personal development, this process has been a hugely beneficial one where I have been far more focused in the ins and outs of creating a trailer and doing far more contextual research than I would have done prior into this process, allowing it to be a greater success than usual.

References

Anon. (2016) Blind Date Facebook Page [online] available from <https://www.facebook.com/blinddatedocumentary/&gt; [2 May 2016]

Anon. (2016) Tips And Tricks Towards An Outstanding Presentation – Pimp Your Science[online] available from <http://www.pimpyourscience.org/lesson/6/Tips-and-tricks-towards-an-outstanding-presentation.html&gt; [3 May 2016]

Post Production – Process and Critical Evaluation

When editing I have to “have a deep understanding of how people think, feel, remember and learn” and use “this knowledge to build powerful, moving stories and experiences.” (Staff, 2014). So I must be close to the information I am showing and edit it in a way that shows I have empathy for the situation, creating a story which my audience will enjoy and be engaged in. In order to be as close as I can be emotionally to the footage, I will be editing it as I go along. By doing this I will still have the situations fresh in my memory and be able to engage with the materials with more emotionality. Also, it will help in slowly breaking down my workload and treating each participant’s footage differently as I won’t be overlapping often.

As it often is with interviews, the subjects often talk for minutes upon minutes about things that will sadly not improve the storyline which you are trying to show, so I need to edit it in a way which is seamless. Ted say you should “Cut on words. The sound of a word, especially if it contains a hard consonant, can make an edit feel less obvious.” (Staff, 2014) This is a technique which I used very, very often. It helped vastly in creating cuts which didn’t take the audience’s attention away from the subject. However, I perhaps overused it and could have used a variety of shots that linked in with the participants feelings and not always do the same technique.

As parts of my footage wasn’t directly filmed by me, for instance some vlogs and the screen recordings done on their phones, I had issues in retrieving the data. I learnt a lot about the reliability of people, something I should have vexed beforehand. If I have had a longer interview process for my participants then perhaps I wouldn’t have had such issues as I would be certain they would relay the footage to be in an appropriate timescale and not leave me clambering for it. This lead to me not editing to the schedule I had previously decided on, not allowing me to take the proper care and attention to detail I would have liked to. This issue could have been solved by allowing myself more time for post production in my schedule to allow for such inconveniences to take place.

As I have spoken about in my previous blog posts, I had issues with audio in certain shoots with one of the participants. Whilst I attempted to save this and vastly improved some of the audio as well as cutting around some of the unsavable parts, some less than stellar footage had to be used due to it being integral to the storytelling process. If I had hired an editing assistant, they could have perhaps improved the situation further as they would have a larger knowledge than I of how to deal with situation such as the one I faced. This is something I should definitely consider more seriously in the future.

Doyle speaks about how as a producer/story editor you are expected to “act like an exec until you can produce results like an exec” (Freedman Doyle, 2012). So, this means I need to be confident in my footage and my truth that I am telling and be sure in the decisions I am making and keep making them until the final product resembles something of a high quality. I tried to do this to the best of my ability, however I feel this is something I lacked, I didn’t experiment enough in the way in which I edited the footage in fears that I would ruin it. This is something I need to work on in the future and be more headstrong and experimental.

An aspect I found particularly enthralling was creating the title sequence. I wanted to create something that was sleek, said a lot about the topic and introduced the participants. I followed guidelines by PremiumBeat on how to create a killer title sequence. (Premiumbeat.com, 2015) These tips included having a slick font, easy to read titles and to have fun animations that matched your genre. I feel I achieved all of these aspects, using logos and the book opening effect (to signify the diary like aspect of the film) to show the genre, a slick font to show it is modern and professional and easy to read titles by not over animating them and putting them in capitals.

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Another piece of advice from TED was to “Keep things moving. The web audience has a short attention span.” (Staff, 2014). So, I ensured that one situation wasn’t drawn out for two long, changing between what the subject was doing and the subject themselves. Whilst this was effective, I could have perhaps cut to a larger variety of camera angles to keep it more visually interesting. This is something I aim to improve in the future.

As I had four participants filming over a week as well as various street interview sessions, I ended up with over 4 hours of footage to cut down to a fifth of its size. This is a task that cannot be understated of how difficult it was. You become attached to your footage and want to tell the whole story in and out, so you have to be ruthless and really know how to edit a documentary. VideoUniversity speak about editing a documentary and say that you should “look for and collect those magic moments of truth and beauty. Then you can begin to string them together and see what flows.” (VideoUniversity.com, 2015) So that’s exactly what I did. I looked through the footage and cut anything that didn’t add towards creating a magic moment or pointing towards the truth I wanted to show. Then, from there I further edited it down to only footage that flowed in the story arc. Whilst this was difficult, I feel I did an excellent job in cutting off all the non integral parts of the story and the entertainment I want to provide.

Despite post-production being incredibly difficult at the best of times for this production, it has helped me grow as a film editor and producer undoubtedly. It’s shown me all the things that can go wrong and how to plan for them and/or prevent them from happening in the future as well as how to push myself to better myself professionally and technically. I feel I can move onto my next project with buckets more confidence in this field.

References

Freedman Doyle, B. (2012) Make Your Movie. Burlington: Elsevier Science

Premiumbeat.com. (2015) 5 Easy Tips For Creating An Awesome Title Sequence [online] available from <http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/5-easy-tips-for-creating-an-awesome-title-sequence/&gt; [3 May 2016]

Staff, T. (2014) 10 Tips For Editing Video [online] available from <http://blog.ted.com/10-tips-for-editing-video/&gt; [3 May 2016]

VideoUniversity.com. (2015) How To Edit And Structure Your Documentary – Videouniversity [online] available from <https://www.videouniversity.com/articles/how-to-edit-and-structure-your-documentary/&gt; [4 May 2016]

Professional Contacts

Networking.

In relation to networking with other professionals, “in the entertainment business people often say that one must network or not work.” (Filmconnection.com, 2016) This highlights just how crucial it is to network in the industry in which I am in.

Scriptcat lists some ways in which you can network successfully:

  • “Make sure that you are generous with those who deserve your time.” – In the film industry you should be generous with those who would help you in return so you’ll build up helpful contacts.
  • “Show your contacts at every level that you are a talented and generous professional.” – Demonstrate your value and that you are a worthwhile contact for them to have in their network.
  • “Bulid trust” – All good relationships involve trust, you should be a trustworthy individual that will not let down a contact.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you.” – Be available to your  contacts, give/make information available to them that they might find the most useful.

(Scriptcat.wordpress.com, 2012)

I have gone to put this into practice and targeted 10 industry individuals I feel may be able to help me:

John Downes – Writer for @MailSport.TV Sports & UK video editor @mailonline + @MailSport

 James Batchelor –  Editor at @AutoExpress and @CarbuyerUK and Head of Motoring Video. Appears on radio and TV occasionally.

Amy Brookbanks – Showbiz Content Editor, Now + award-winning video franchise GossipCam, Time Inc UK

Alex McCranor – Camera Operator / editor. Available Freelance and for Corporate Video Production in the UK and internationally.

Gordon O’Neill Freelance Cameraman, editor & Producer/Director.

Joe Weller – YouTuber, video editor and producer.

Theo BakerYouTuber, video editor and producer.

Jon Randle – Producer, Video Editor & Motion Graphic Animator. Based in Coventry

‘Rookery Mike’ Sports video editor, co-presenter of a sports podcast.

Marqus Akc’ent – Head of video and creative media @JumpoffTV, Video editor at Radio 1.

I have targeted these individuals as they are all video editors in some capacity and work in a professional context in the industry I want to be involved in. I have found all of their Twitter accounts and through that I found various other methods in which I can contact them, including email addresses, LinkedIn pages and Websites etc. We all follow eachother on the Twitter platform, giving me a way to contact them.

Following these individuals on their contact pages, it gave me the opportunity to see new networking opportunities to get a foot in the door.  For example, through tweets such as the one below, which I see often, I am able to offer my creative help. After seeing this tweet I was able to offer my help. Whilst he didn’t take me up on it, he thanked me and now I am on his radar. Actions such as these I try to make often to show myself as helpful and to be generous with my time.

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Furthermore, by following these individual’s networks I am able to see job opportunities as soon as they present themselves, thus giving me an advantage on other applicants. Messages like the ones that I see below are on various different networks. I have had frequent contact with Marqus, as can be seen through his evaluation of my portfolio. (Reilly, 2016) So, I can perhaps use him as a professional contact when applying to jobs which he is advertising. I try to remain in contact and offer my value to all professional individuals I believe could be gatekeepers to furthering my future.

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Furthermore, I contacted certain individuals offering them my help and asking for the opportunity of shadowing them. One individual that was particularly helpful was Gordon O’Neill, the Freelance Cameraman and video editor. I exchanged emails with him and he whilst he wasn’t able to offer me a shadowing opportunity, something he has offered to do in the future, he gave me a breakdown of his day to day activities/responsibilities.

“Thank you for your good wishes and offers Aidan,

When I am working, specifically editing like you asked, it’s a lot about being flexible and having an open mind. You need to be creative and willing to spill out ideas out of your arse in a moment’s notice! You also need to be technical and have a very, very close eye to attention. I can’t tell you how many times I have made mistakes but all of them have lead to me improving. 

There is no day to day schedule, it’s always different. But one thing I can tell you is that you’ll always be sitting behind a computer and working closely with the production team, bringing their creative vision to life.” 

Having these types of interaction with an industry professional are invaluable to me and something I aim to do much more in the future. I will continue to put myself out there to industry professionals and take up opportunities to demonstrate my value and learn more.

When speaking about the contacts I have targeted and contacted, I was pleased in the contacts I have acquired and I didn’t realise beforehand how helpful they would be in creating work and a professional environment to thrive in. However,  I now realise how imperative this process is and how I must “network or not work.” (Filmconnection.com, 2016)

References

Filmconnection.com, (2016) The Importance Of Networking [online] available from <http://www.filmconnection.com/reference-library/film-entrepreneurs/the-importance-of-networking/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Reilly, A. (2016) Evaluation Of My Portfolio [online] available from <https://aidanreillyyr3.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/evaluation-of-my-portfolio/&gt; [12 May 2016]

Scriptcat.wordpress.com, (2012) The Importance Of Building A Strong Network Of Contacts…[online] available from <https://scriptcat.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/the-importance-of-building-a-strong-network-of-contacts/&gt; [12 April 2016]

The Secret World of Tinder

The Secret World of Tinder – “This eye-opening documentary reveals how smartphone apps have revolutionised dating” (4oD, 2016) This documentary is a particularly helpful one for helping me understand the subject matter and form I will be tackling. When watching the documentary, I made some key notes about the style I noticed:

  • Focus on the deeper questions when interviewing participants

  • Shallow focus/close ups during interviews.

  • Introduction about new documentary participants.

  • Lots of emotional scenes due to subject matter

  • Ends on an ending thought to leave a memory with the viewer.

  • Filler music used often

  • Humour used often

I will be looking to implement these key points within my documentary to allow my project to have more of a professional feel to it.

When looking at the biographies of the two main participants they have for their documentary we can see these:

“Self-confessed sex addict John, 42, turned to various dating apps when his marriage ended after just 20 months, and he claims to have had over 200 dates thanks to the technical revolution. Half of those dates appear to have been a success as he also insists he’s slept with over 100 females because of such applications, and boasts he once slept with NINE women in one week.”

“Pete, 38, who is into animal role-play, specifically puppy-play. He meets up with men who he can play animal-style games such as fetch, roll over, and have belly rubs with. While his partner of 16 years, Mirza, DOESN’T share his puppy love, he doesn’t object to Pete sniffing around others with similar tastes.” (Leyfield, 2015)

These biographies focus on the extraordinary, they show the crazy stories about the individuals. They try and show the unique points of the documentary they are creating. I will apply the same style for my production and highlight the fact I am providing more of a grounded piece of material that focuses on real situations that happen every day that you don’t get to see.

References

4oD. (2016) The Secret World Of Tinder [online] available from <http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-secret-world-of-tinder/on-demand&gt; [30 March 2016]

Leyfield, J. (2015) The Secret World Of Tinder: Meet Puppy Play Enthusiast And Sex Addict[online] available from <http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/secret-world-tinder-documentary-explores-5698502&gt; [30 March 2016]

Distribution and outreach plans; Project Management and Audience Research

Whilst in the post production process, I have looked further into how I am going to distribute my film. I need to look into how I can meet the requirements of different festivals through different factors such as film length and other technical and physical requirements. I have set myself a few ideas of how to work towards furthering myself and my project through the distribution process:

  • Build up an interested audience through the social media outlets I have created to create a buzz around the film.
  • Use the film as a personal portfolio piece to show my prestige as a documentary film maker.
  • Get some form of involvement in a festival to help give my film and myself a coup.
  • Get some of the money back that I have invested in the project/make a profit from the production so I can reinvest in making new and exciting projects.

When looking at the film festivals survey in 2013, there were currently around 3,000 active film festivals. (Follows, 2013) This number is likely to have risen even more in recent years. This statistic shows that it clear that film festivals are very much a viable and smart option to distribute your film. However, with the popularity incurs a significant cost, as I will have to pay to enter any film festival with any level of prestige. As I am working with a very low budget, allocating money for distribution is something that will be taking up a large part of my budget. However, festival entry will be imperative in helping achieving my aims of being successful in this project so I must scrutinise the choices I make to make the right decision in terms of cash allocation and matching my project to the right festival.

 

A lot of acclaimed festivals are not in the United Kingdom, for example Sundance is in the United States, Venice Film Festival (Italy), the Cannes Film Festival (France), the Toronto Film Festival (Canada). Whilst it would be incredible and prestigious to be involved in any of these, it isn’t financially viable for me to be travelling out of the UK. So, I must narrow my vision to those based locally. Sadly, only 5.5% of film festivals are based in the United Kingdom, as represented in the graph below.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.25.46

(Follows, 2013)

The three main festivals I am targeting to enter are Sheffield Doc Fest, London International Documentary Festival and Open City Documentary Festival. These 3 festivals meet the criteria of being local, all being based in the UK, and of being in the documentary format.

Creating an online presence for my project is a free option of marketing my project, and with the use of Google adsense, (Google, 2016) I could potentially make money from the use of adverts that get placed before my documentary. This could be a very helpful tool in helping regain some of my investment in the project. A short 15 minute lesson created by YouTube themselves details how you can make money from your content. (YouTube, 2016). They go into detail of how successful this money making technique can be, giving relevant examples, and this has assured me that this is a worthwhile marketing route to go down. However, they say that the more popular the video gets, the more high value your adverts will become. So whilst it is important to focus on maximising your revenue via this platform, I need to raise interest elsewhere to get more viewership visiting my project. So I have signed up to this service so I can maximise my earnings on both YouTube and Vimeo from my documentary. Whilst this is a good idea in terms of revenue, it may hinder my entry into film festivals as 28% do not accept films that are available online. (Follows, 2013) So I must way up the pros and cons of this move before deciding.

As my documentary offers a topic which is prevalent in popular culture at the moment, I can look at reach out to groups that already exist and ask them to spread my documentary out to their audience. Twitter and Facebook groups on Tinder are numerous and I will be reaching out to the ones I deem to be professional enough so their sharing will be beneficial to my cause. After being aware of my audience that I will be distributing to even further, I feel confident that my editing style will match the intended distribution audience.

References

Follows, S. (2013) Film Festivals Pt 1: The Truths Behind Film Festivals [online] available from <http://stephenfollows.com/film-festivals-pt1-the-truths-behind-film-festivals/&gt; [26 April 2016]

Google. (2016) Make Money Online Through Website Monetization | Google Adsense – Google[online] available from <https://www.google.com/adsense/start/#?modal_active=none&gt; [30 April 2016]

YouTube (2016) Make Money With Youtube [online] available from <https://youtube.com/creatoracademy/page/lesson/revenue-basics&gt; [30 April 2016]

 

EPK Evaluation

My electronic press kit has now been produced and is available on my website, here it is:

ModernMobileDatingEPK

In a previous post, I spoke of the things in which I wanted to add to my EPK after doing research of other similar press kits. I did adapt and include all these ideas that can be seen on the post, such as an FAQ, behind the scenes photographs and a synopsis. In terms of adapting my work, I wanted it to be designed in a way that matched my genre and target audience, conveying the subject matter was dating and doing it in a sleek, modern way to attract the younger target audience. I feel this was achieved through the use of the graphics, colour scheme and font that I used.

I reinforced this theme by having the tinder logo as the page marker on each page and a range of logos from the app as a stylistic choice at the header of each page also. I kept it sleek through the light and simple silver background as well as the use of simple and stylish font and colour. Despite doing all this, I still tried to mimic the spacing and structure of other popular EPKs to keep it professional. I also paid particular focus to the FAQ section as this is a section I feel added an extra something to the EPKs I saw and made you have a connection to the production.

However, during my production, I neglected the need to get behind the scenes pictures, getting a very minimal amount of them. If I had taken more time to think about it, I could have perhaps created more images that could be of a high interest to the audience by planning and executing this aspect more effectively. I should have made it a higher priority and realised the importance of evidencing your production as you’re creating it.

However, I feel this experience has been beneficial as a whole and I have created an EPK that focuses well on the main selling points of my documentary and offers a varied look at various aspects of the production. I will take all of these experiences forward to improve myself professionally and creatively.

Online Communities of Practice

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have millions of users and “using social media can greatly increase the amount of attention you receive, though these should not be your main online profile.” (Smallbusiness.com, 2016) As we can see, social media profiles are very helpful in increasing your online network. Whilst it is helpful to be involved in social websites like Twitter and Facebook, it is clear that these aren’t enough by themselves. Using websites like LinkedIn whose sole purpose is for networking in a business type environment are the most useful. When reading an article by Makealiving, LinkedIn is a very important self-promotion network for members of the film industry due to the following reasons: (Makealivingwriting.com, 2011)

Key words in your profile. Employers can and will be able to easily track down potential employees through key words. For example, I have been adding words such as “editor, filmmaker, technician”  into my profile so it will immediately show up in searches when employers are looking for an editor. It also helps in if I search for someone who I want to network with in the same profession.

“Who’s viewed my profile?” There is a feature on LinkedIn which shows you who has recently been on your profile. Therefore, you can judge and view who is interested in your profile and get in contact with them if you want to.

The blog tool. You are able to add your blog into your profile. This allows a simple way to demonstrate your work on the platform.

The jobs. For a fee, employers can advertise jobs on the platform. Therefore, the jobs are always more high end as they will have to be taking it seriously to spend money on the process.

In-person networking. There is a section which you can find events where you can meet up with other likeminded individuals in person. You can also set them up.

The groups. There are groups on the virtual platform where you can network with other professionals in your chosen field. For example I have targeted the group Post Production Professionals as it is within the editing field and has over 75,000 members, allowing me the space to connect with others. (LinkedIn.com, 2016)

There are also a lot of communities that exist online just for post production crew , media production professionals and video editors. By using networks such as these I am able to expedite the process of narrowing down my groups to just include relevant individuals, as they all will be so. For example, CreativeCow is a network I have become a part of, it is a peer to peer support network for media production professionals. (Creativecow.net, 2016) Joining this network allows me to meet individuals and further my development.

Another filmmaking community is One Day on Earth. They are a network of filmmakers and “has the world largest and most diverse network of collaborating professional filmmakers.”. (Onedayonearth.org, 2016). By joining this community I now have the ability to try and network with individuals who might be able to give me work in a similar industry to I. As I am a post production worker, speaking to these individuals means I can offer them skills they don’t necessarily possess and almost always need. Thus, this is giving me a greater opportunity to gain employment.

Another network I am a part of now is CastingCallPro. (Castingcallpro.com, 2016) This website allows you to search jobs in the creative entertainment industry. I feel this will be another important network for me as it allows me to search out editing jobs and expedite them and choose which is the most suitable for me, building up contacts as I go.

Joining these networks will be vital in furthering my chances to be a professional in the industry. But, if I am working as a freelance, it is very important to remember that ‘self-discipline is key to taking your freelancing gig from an interesting hobby to a viable business. (Poe, 2005) So, I have to be hard on myself to ensure I network and work hard enough to make it viable.

References

Creativecow.net, (2016) Creative COW – Creative Communities Of The World [online] available from <https://www.creativecow.net/&gt; [12 April 2016]

LinkedIn.com, (2016) Linkedin Groups | Linkedin [online] available from <https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1815733/profile&gt; [12 April 2016]

Makealivingwriting.com, (2011) 10 Ways Writers Can Use Linkedin To Find Freelance Gigs[online] available from <http://www.makealivingwriting.com/ways-writers-find-gigs-linkedin/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Onedayonearth.org, (2016) Home [online] available from <http://www.onedayonearth.org/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Poe, A. (2005) How To Freelance Your Expertise [online] available from <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/79088&gt; [12 April 2016]

Smallbusiness.com, (2016) How To Create A Powerful Web Presence [online] available from <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/create-powerful-presence-26416.html&gt; [10 March 2016]

 

New Participant Shoot Process and Evaluation

After evaluating my first shoot, I took forward what I learnt from that to my latter participants to improve my shooting style and ensure my end product is more professional and well organised. As I was shooting in a very similar circumstance as I was prior, I was able to apply these lessons directly to improve myself and my product.

After having previous issues with insufficient planning in terms of doing formal test shoots, I made this an absolute priority. As I was shooting stuff that could not be reshot, I had to ensure that all my equipment was set up to a standard which would be acceptable and that I could be happy with. I did a couple of quick test shoots with the new participant and found slight concerns with the audio being too loud. Having this found out early on was a massive help as trying to recover distorted audio would have been a painstaking, almost impossible task to make it sound professional.

As I foresaw in my location recce form, the room had quite an echo to it as well as being quite offset in a strange colour. So, I planned prior to ensure I would be able to deal with this. I made sure I had two microphone options to allow for mistakes. Due to the echos, I brought along a directional mic to not pick up the echos and a clip on mic as a backup. The backup wasn’t needed as the first option came out clearly. However, it was good to have a backup and I felt prepared incase. However, I should have perhaps done a more thorough location visit and tested this beforehand so I didn’t need to bring additional unneeded equipment. In terms of the colouring, I spent extra time white balancing and ensuring that the subject was well lit. The use of the location recce form was invaluable to be throughout this process.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 15.43.52

As I have met with these participants and kept close contact with them as we approached the shooting, I am always comfortable with them which leads to a very friendly and open environment in which we can discuss topics freely and get the most out of the shooting situation. A documentary interview tip is to keep the interviewee comfortable. (Desktopdocumentaties.com, 2016) This is something which I never faltered with and went out of my way to achieve.

I am happy with the fact that I wrote up a production schedule with lengthy topics on it and gave it to the participants early on as they were always prepared to answer them when it came to shooting. It is said that two of the key elements to documentary interviews is to “prepare and avoid yes or no answers.” (Desktopdocumentaties.com, 2016) So, by preparing the subjects and myself prior to the interview and giving meaty topics that we can dig our teeth into I could create an environment for the interview to thrive in. However, it’s also said that you should “prepare but be spontaneous“. Whilst I feel I did this by going off topic and leading the conversation down new paths when the opportunity presented itself, the interview could have perhaps been more spontaneous and genuine if the interviewee didn’t know the topics beforehand.

In an effort to be even more prepared, I tended to brief my subject on what questions I was going to be asking. In theory I thought this would help the subject feel calm and confident in what they have to say, which it did. However, like Raindance suggests in their documentary interview tips, you should “never do pre-interviews… your interviewee might tell you an incredible story off camera and when asked to repeat it might be unnatural and forced.” (Raindance, 2015) This is something I had to deal with as often they would try and answer the questions off camera as they would say what they would respond to the question to check its alright and then when on camera it didn’t appear natural. This is something I will improve in the future by not giving them the questions beforehand and to always be rolling when I am speaking about the subject matter so I don’t lose the perfect response.

Overall, I feel I have developed as a director, producer and professional since my first shoot and learnt a lot more in what it means to create a successful environment to thrive in. These latter shoots have been far more successful and has inspired me to be even better in future shoots and take forward what I have learned in a constructive manner to improve myself and my production.

References

Desktopdocumentaties.com. (2016) Top 10 Video Interviewing Tips For Documentary Filmmaking [online] available from <http://www.desktop-documentaries.com/interviewing-tips.html&gt; [15 Apr 2016]

Raindance. (2015) 10 Tips For Shooting A Documentary Interview – Raindance [online] available from <http://www.raindance.org/10-tips-when-shooting-a-documentary-interview/&gt; [15 Apr 2016]

Trailer Research

Having a killer trailer or work sample may not guarantee your film’s success in the funding lottery or land you that coveted distribution deal, but it does ensure that your film will cause funders, distributors and other decision makers to stand up and take notice.“(International Documentary Association, 2016)

On the back of this advice from the IDA, I knew I had to create a trailer ensures that the people of interest would take notice in my project. To sell my film to the ‘funders, distributors and other decision makers’ . It should also be used to “show all the people who’ve been helping you out a glimpse of what they produced.” (Film Shortage, 2012) As I have been undertaking an IndieGoGo campaign, this process is even more necessary to give back to those who have been supporting me. On reflection, I should have perhaps started this process earlier so I could have provided my audience with a trailer earlier. They also state that trailers are “often not showing the creative depth of a good film“. So, I have to show the creative depth of my production within my trailer. I aim to show all the different aspects of my production within the short time I have.

When looking at the length of the trailer I should be making, I can look at the National Association of Theatre Owners’ (NATO) guidelines on the subject:

teaser trailer = 15-30 seconds, trailer = 1- 1:30, theatrical trailer = 1:30-2 minutes. (Natoonline, 2016)

As I am doing a piece on human interest, I should not give away too much but still give a sense as to what the film is about. So, around the minute mark should be an ideal marker. The MPAA (2013) states that a trailer must be no longer than 2 minutes & 30 seconds, so my trailer will be within this limit easily if I aim for that marker.

Whilst having this in the back of my head, I chose to have a look at some example documentaries that are from successful projects to aid me in creating a professional trailer. I analysed the way in which they are successful in presenting their subject and getting the interest of the audience.

  • Quick cuts between scenes that are interesting and display the participants and subject matter in a riveting fashion.
  • Music used to set the mood of how you should be feeling about the subject matter.
  • Titles used for key information.
  • Music to help with the pacing of the trailer
  • Relevant graphics used to feed information to the viewer
  • Short snippets/quotes to help establish the participants and the subject matter.

These are all aspects which I feel would carry over well into my documentary trailer and link well in presenting the subject matter and the participants. But how do I present these styles to the audience? When reading a paper on what makes an effective film trailer, they state that “another main purpose in film trailers is to leave the viewer with a feeling of anticipation and the urge to want to see the film.” (Anon, 2016) This allowed me to believe that I must tease my audience of the main footage but give them them enough so they are left curious and wanting to see more.  So if I use these styles to edit around my subject matter to create this effect on the audience then I should have a successful trailer.

One thing that is apparent is that you need a hook to get the viewers to help stick in the minds of the viewers. You need a ‘memorable one-liner that everyone will tell their friends the next day after seeing your movie.’ (Screenwriting.4filmmaking.com, 2015) So, I will be looking through my clips and finding a few funny/deep moments which help in establishing the the subject matter and the individual whilst also being memorable and attract and audience that want to see more.

To summarise, I want my trailer to be a minute long, establish the participants and the subject matter in a meaningful and entertaining way, provide the audience with a reason to come back and see more by teasing them and use professional techniques that I have learned from other trailers to ensure that it is of a high standard that I can sell to potential gatekeepers.

References

Anon. (2016) What Makes An Effective Film Trailer?. Masters. Greenwich

Film Shortage, (2012) The Art Of The Trailer [online] available from <http://filmshortage.com/the-art-of-the-trailer/; [25 Apr 2016]

International Documentary Association. (2016) Doc U: Making Your Trailer Stand Out [online] available from <http://www.documentary.org/event/doc-u-making-your-trailer-stand-out&gt; [20 April 2016]

Mpaa.org, (2015) available from <http://www.mpaa.org/; [1 May 2016]

Natoonline.org, (2016) [online] available from <http://natoonline.org/; [2 Apr 2016]

Screenwriting.4filmmaking.com, (2015) Finding Story Ideas – Film School Online [online] available from <http://screenwriting.4filmmaking.com/find-ideas.html&gt; [2 Apr 2016]

 

Building a Website

Now that I have created social media presences, and reached a stage of post production, I will now creating a website for my production so I can have a more professional online presence. I will be aiming to transfer audience across from the social media platforms to my new platform whilst also having a platform to market to others, perhaps more professional individuals. Even though I will be creating on a new platform, I will look to stick to the same stylistic choices I chose before to reinforce my brand and retain my audience.

When reading an article on how knowing your audience impacts your website, it said you should try answer the following questions: (Harstein, 2014)

  • What do you want to accomplish:  To be able to market my documentary in a professional manner whilst reaching out to my potential audience and other professionals in a meaningful and effective way.
  • Who do you need to visit your website for this to happen: Ideally I would have journalists visit my website so they might report about it, festival organisers so that they can see my film in a professional light and members of my audience so they engage further
  • What would they care about: They would all want the information to be clear and easy to access and they would want further information about the production, including perhaps behind the scenes footage, extra information and an electronic press kit.
  • What do they already know about your project: They will possibly have information through either social networking sites or from festival submissions, but they may have none which means it’s important I cover all the key information.
  • Any important/defining demographic information: As my production is targeted towards a young audience, I have to create my website with that in mind whilst also being aware of creating it with the possibility of older journalists/festival organisers seeing it also.
  • What’s the reason you give them to visit your site: To gather more information about the documentary.

When taking all this into account, these are some of the key points I will be looking to check off when creating my website:

  • Modern design that still keeps true to the genre and isn’t too distracting to the information being presented.
  • The site will be very easy to read and be sleek and professional, using modern and professional fonts and pictures etc.
  • I will include extra knowledge that isn’t found on social networking sites, for instance videos and the electronic press kit.
  • Show basic information about the film, including the logline and synopsis so that new audience members are aware of what the documentary entails.
  • Link to the social media pages to reinforce our network

References

Hartstein, D. (2014). The Ways Knowing Your Audience Impacts Your Website. [online] Wired Impact. Available at: http://wiredimpact.com/blog/knowing-audience-impacts-website/[Accessed 15 Apr. 2016].

Making an EPK

Before creating an Electronic Press Kit, I did various research into what is expected from the format and how I could make mine good. To do this, I looked at various examples of Electronic Press Kits online and applied features of them to my own.
What is the use for an EPK
When looking at the Raindance website, ‘A press kit is used to send details of the film to journalists and acquisitions executives.’ (Raindance, 2013) This means that the main purpose of the EPK is to be a readily available resource that I could send to journalists so that they receive the information they require.

The article states that the key steps are these:

Step 1: Create a Folder – these will be useful when you need a copy to hand at events

Step 2: Write a Synopsis – “A synopsis is a summary of the story of your film told in an engaging way that captures the reader’s interest and makes them want to see the film

Step 3: Write Cast and Crew Bio – “You should include brief biographies of the key people you worked with on your movie”

Step 4: Create Ten FAQs – “Creating hype and publicity for your film means that you have to give precise direction and guidance to the people who hear about your film” This could perhaps include audience members or executives or people in similar gatekeeper positions.

Step 5: Get Publicity Stills  –  Having a good collection of stills can help massively in marketing as it can be used for various promotion methods such as posters, dvd covers, etc. 

Step 6: Include Reviews and Third Party Endorsements – “All commercial enterprise uses third party endorsements.” This will help in creating an air of legitimacy around my production.

Step 7: Create an Electronic Press Kit – “An electronic press kit (EPK) is a set of videos and photos, interviews with the principal cast and crew, duplicated and distributed to appropriate people” So, this covers the format of how I should add all of this information together. This could be in the form of a dropbox, usb stick, etc.

(Raindance, 2013)

By using these headers, I should have a fairly concise idea of what to put into the content of my Press Kit, should I apply all the ideas to the correct areas of my production.

Examples

When accounting for these factors, I decided it best to look at a few examples so I can break down how they have interpreted what their content should be.

 Bag It – EPK – A documentary environmental waste. Useful example due to the documentary format.

  • I liked the colour scheme and design they used for their pages. The light blue and grey really matched the theme of the documentary and wasn’t too distracting away from the information on the page.
  • The question and answer section was particularly effective. I feel adding a different twist on the FAQ section definitely helped in making the EPK seem more personal.
  • The length of the EPK was a good one. It went into enough features and with each feature it told what it needed to with clear and concise detail. This makes it particularly easy for the audience to clearly manage the information they are being fed.
  • I feel the layout perhaps is a bit too clustered however. The pictures and words are perhaps too close together which makes the information look a bit intimidating. Larger spacing would help deal with this issue.

Adult Life Skills EPK (Tribeca Festival, 2016) – A film about a woman’s coming of age. Useful example as it follows a person’s emotional journey.

  • The layout of this EPK is very inventive which I like. They have really tried to capture the genre of the film within the layout and have done it effectively. However, despite admiring the creativity, I feel the execution is lacking and I would like to show my genre more subtly so it does not take too much attention away from the information I’m presenting
  • The information was short and sweet. They sold the film and presented their ideas without being overbearing by writing too much and oversaturating.
  • They definitely invest you in the concept by making it seem very personal which is definitely a good thing. However, they overdo the unique style which becomes frustrating and overwhelming to read all the little notes they make on the page.

When taking all these points into consideration, I am going to to ensure I create an EPK that isn’t overly saturated containing useless information, that gives clear and concise information and is formatted in a way which the person reading it will be interested in the information i’m presenting. I will include the following information:

  • A brief synopsis of the idea.
  • Technical information on the production process.
  • Participants/Crew information.
  • Promotional Poster
  • A slightly longer synopsis.
  • Behind the scenes shots
  • Director’s notes.
  • Contact details
  • Biographies
  • Stills from the production
  • Third party comments

Creation

To put together my EPK, I will be using the PDF software in which I can edit together all of my information. PDF has been the format in which next to all of the EPKs I discovered are formatted in and I want to maintain my project to the industry standard.

I will be stylising my EPK around the subject of love and mystery by using imagery that they use on Tinder such as the hearts and the like and dislike symbols. Furthermore, I will be downloading the custom font that they use for Tinder to further enforce this branding. Colour ‘creates meaning and influences behaviour’ (Arnhheim, 1974) So I will be using reds and other homely/romantic colours to show my documentary’s format.

References

Arnheim, R. (1974). Art and visual perception. Berkeley: University of California Press.

BagitMovie, (2015). Bag it Movie Press Kit. [online] Available at:http://www.bagitmovie.com/press_kit/PressKit_11.17.11.pdf [Accessed 13 Apr. 2016].

Tribeca Festival. (2016) Adult Life Skills EPK [online] available from <https://s3.amazonaws.com/tribeca_cms_production/uploads/document/document/56fc08b1a270e591ea000004/ADULT_LIFE_SKILLS_Press_Notes.pdf&gt; [13 April 2016]

Raindance, (2013). 7 Essentials For A Press Kit – Raindance. [online] Available at:http://www.raindance.org/7-essentials-for-a-press-kit/ [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].

What Are Employers Looking For?

I decided that to determine what professional skills and traits I needed to possess, I should research what professionals are looking for in someone of my role. From this I have looked at some job vacancies that are within my area of work that I want to go in perhaps:

I have taken the following examples from the job recruitment site Indeed. (Indeed.co.uk, 2016)

“We are looking to take on a Video Editor with experience of working to tight deadlines without compromising on creativity. As Editor, you will be responsible for liaising with the Producers and Head of Film to understand projects and requirements. You will be assembling raw footage, reviewing footage and discussing layout or editing approach of all projects. You’ll need to be professional, assertive, well organized and a massive team player with a huge sense of humour!” – Video editor for Meridian Business Support

“The ideal candidate will be a talented video editor with an eye for great design and an uncompromising desire to create outstanding videos and motion graphic experiences.” – Video Editor for A1 People

The role will require you to edit projects, set up and operate all editing systems and to provide support to all members of the video team.As Editor you will be responsible for liaising with the Producers and Head of Film to understand projects and requirements. You will be assembling raw footage, reviewing footage and discussing layout or editing approach of all projects. We are looking for a team player who can actively help to maintain quality and technical standards for the video team whilst simultaneously contributing towards the creative environment at Juice.” – Video Editor at Juice

All of these adverts go on to list technical skills and experience that you should have which include very specific skills such as knowing certain technical craft such as knowing how adobe software works and having certain attributes such as being able to work closely with others.

These adverts have highlighted the importance of experience which I am hoping to acquire through being a freelance video editor. I have noticed that the majority of these jobs are full time positions and require me to be in that role full time, which is something I didn’t completely expect and thought it would be more project to project. I have also noticed that most of the jobs advertised are in London. Infact, “London has 13% of the UK’s population but 55% of the UK’s film companies.” (Stephenfollows.com, 2015) This shows just how large London is with regards to the film industry and my employability options being being larger if I make myself available to this region.

When looking at the National Careers Service, they list the following qualities which are desirable in a video editor:

  • a mixture of creative and practical skills
  • a good sense of timing and visual awareness
  • a high level of attention to detail
  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • willingness to work long hours when necessary
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
  • patience and concentration
  • good computer skills (Nationalcareerservice.direct.gov.uk, 2016)

So, I should be able to demonstrate these skills in all aspects of the employment process, in my CV, portfolio and interview. To do this I should be able to state that I can do these things and have relevant examples to back up the fact I can do these/am are these things. For example, “you can demonstrate your communication skills in the interview, in the application, and through experiences. Have your ideas and any necessary information ready in your mind.” (Jobs.ac.uk, 2016) This is applicable to all other skills and traits and I should be prepared in being able to demonstrate any skill or trait I claim to possess.

Conclusion

The research I have undertaken into what what employers are looking for are going to shape how I approach my own personal development, knowing what to focus on, and increasing the likelihood of being able to present myself in a manner which will be pleasing to potential employers. It has helped me know I am on the right track and with the proper development and formatting, I can reflect myself in a way which can be advantageous.

 

References

Indeed.co.uk, (2016) Video Editor Jobs, Vacancies In Oxford|Indeed.Co.Uk [online] available from <http://www.indeed.co.uk/jobs?q=video+editor&l=Oxford&gt; [11 March 2016]

Jobs.ac.uk, (2016) What Are Employers Looking For? Skills And Qualifications – Careers Advice – Jobs.Ac.Uk [online] available from <http://www.jobs.ac.uk/careers-advice/interview-tips/1337/what-are-employers-looking-for-skills-and-qualifications&gt; [11 April 2016]

Nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk, (2016) Video Editor Job Information | National Careers Service [online] available from <https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/videoeditor.aspx&gt; [1 May 2016]

Stephenfollows.com, (2015) How Much Of The UK Film Industry Is Based In London? [online] available from <https://stephenfollows.com/how-much-of-uk-film-industry-is-london-based/&gt; [2 May 2016]

 

 

 

Hot Topics With Tinder

To break up the main segments about the four participants, I had decided I will do street interviews with people about Tinder’s more sensitive subjects and see if the majority agree or disagree that these issues are perceived as such.

To start off the interview, I should ask a lighter question to ease the participant into the process. In an article by Bloomberg, they state that Tinder is “The fastest-growing dating app in America is a tale of corporate romance”. (Summers, 2016). But how many people do or have used it? I will be questioning this with my initial query will be whether they have.

For my second and third question, I will be prying slightly deeper into the subject matter and asking about the perceived romanticism with causal relationships the application is said to promote. In the article entitled “Tinder And Humanitarian Hook-Ups: The Erotics Of Social Media Racism” (Mason, 2016), they speak in vast context about the causal relationships that are formed and how it is based on a type of social media racism where you treat individuals as sexual objects. They speak further about how this type of new age way of thinking is throwing out old ideals of dating. So for question 2 and 3 I will be asking whether they think that Tinder promotes an unhealthy way of dating that involves treating others superficially and whether Tinder upholds old ideals of dating.

For my final question, I will questioning the security of the mobile dating app. It is often reported the dangers of releasing your personal information online. The article named “Dressing Up Tinderella: Interrogating Authenticity Claims On The Mobile Dating App Tinder” discusses various security and privacy concerns involved including not using your own identity, passing on too much of your own information and not knowing/consenting to the ways in which your information is being shared. All of these ideas are reinforced in the paper labeled ‘The Security of Tinder’(Feltz, 2015). With the author adding a real honest and scathing view on the lack of security the application offers with your personal information and how willingly we give it up. So my final question will be is if they are aware/think there are any security and privacy issues with using tinder and if so what.

References

Duguay, S. (2016) “Dressing Up Tinderella: Interrogating Authenticity Claims On The Mobile Dating App Tinder”. Information, Communication & Society 1-17

Feltz, M. (2015) The Security Of Tinder [online] available from <http://www.cs.tufts.edu/comp/116/archive/fall2015/mfeltz.pdf&gt; [30 March 2016]

Mason, C. (2016) “Tinder And Humanitarian Hook-Ups: The Erotics Of Social Media Racism”. Feminist Media Studies 1-16

Summers, N. (2016) Dating App Tinder Catches Fire [online] available from <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-09-05/dating-app-tinder-catches-fire&gt; [6 May 2016]

Contributor Release Form

For legal purposes, I knew it was imperative to create a contributor release form that I would get everyone to sign whose image I was using to ensure I had myself legally covered and so my contributors were aware of what they were agreeing to. I looked at a couple of examples online:

Whilst this first one is a very nice template, it doesn’t quite cover all of the legal basis’ I want it to. However, I found one from ScreenHi which very much does so. (Anon, 2016) So, I combined both of these templates to make my own which works well for my production. I have had all of the contributors sign this release form to ensure mine and their safety.

contributor-release-form-page0001

References

Anon. (2016) Consent [online] available from <http://screenhi.co.uk/production/consent&gt; [4 May 2016]

Location Recce Forms

I checked with a few examples online in terms of what to include in the location recce forms and this is the best example I could find in terms of it being useful for my type of shooting and form:

 

So, I altered the questions to fit my production and locations and created this template:

recce form 1-page0001

Here is an example of a filled out form after visiting one of one of the locations of one of the subjects:

recce form demi-page0001

Communities of Practice

In my previous posts, I looked at being a part of communities online and how that can impact my career, however there are many physical communities of practice which I can also be involved with and that I should be considering. When considering the job of a post production worker, it is quite a lonely profession in the way which you will be often working by yourself for the most part. So, having physical communities in this respect is very important in order to not become too unattached and to keep up to date with everything.

One community I have been involved with for many years, and hope to still have involvement with in some capacity, is Source TV. (CUSU.org, 2016) They provide me with opportunities where I can flex my creative muscles whilst interacting with other aspiring film industry professionals. It is a free to join society it has provided me with contacts for whilst also helping me develop as a media producer in technical skills and networking abilities. This experience has been imperative in advancing as a media professional.

Another network I have begun to be a part of is PostProductionPro, it is a “destination for film and tv post production professionals.”  (Postproductionpro.com, 2016) Whilst this community is available to access online, it has a very big physical presence where you can meet up with individuals in certain locations regularly. As this is a very popular company, I know I will be able to meet even more professional individuals who can teach me things that I don’t know and can help in furthering my career prospects. This is a community that I have only just joined but I have attended one event and met some individuals from it who I believe to be very useful and friendly. This is definitely an option I will be exploring further.

When looking at what professionals think , I researched some advice given by PRfuel on how networking in communities can further your own career and how to analyse whether a network is valuable:

  • Determine if the networking event is aligned with your business goals  Why do you attend networking events? What specifically are you looking to accomplish? Are you looking for business partners? Trying to connect directly with your customers? Recruiting new employees? Your goals will determine which events you should attend. So, if you haven’t figured out what your specific goals are, you need to do that before doing anything else.
  • Set aside an amount of time each month for attending networking events — You can’t spend all of your time attending networking events. Sure, these events can offer a lot, but you have to make sure they don’t become a way for you to avoid doing more important tasks. Again, time is money. So, allot an amount of time to spend at networking events each month, and try to stick to that number.
  • Ask your colleagues about events you’ve never attended — If you come across a new networking group that you’ve never dealt with before, speak to your colleagues to see if they’ve ever attended any of the group’s events. If it’s an event worth attending, there’s a decent chance that someone you know will have attended it before and will be able to provide you with some useful insight.
  • Search online to see if there’s any buzz for the event in question — See an event coming up that you’re thinking about attending? Search the web to see if there’s any buzz building up for the event. Search on Twitter for mentions of the event, or search Google to see if there’s a website for the networking group. If you’re having a hard time finding much information on the web, that’s a sign that the event is probably pretty small and not well organized. Might be best to skip it.
  • Look back at your results — Have you been attending the same networking events over and over with nothing to show for it? That should tell you something. Either the group that you’re networking with isn’t the right fit for you or you’re just not doing a good job at getting the most from the events you’re attending.”

(Ereleases.com, 2012)

So, in the future when looking at networks, I will use these criteria to assess whether it is worthwhile of my time and will it fit me personally and my future career advancement.

When assessing my experience in regards to post production work, it is very advantageous to be part of these communities as you can utilise the other individuals within that community to progress your own career whilst also simultaneously helping them and creating a valuable contact. Thanks to doing this research, I now value these networks more and plan to keep within the ones which I am involved in and sign up for more if they are the correct fit. This is because I see the value of them in furthering both myself as a professional and my career prospects.

References

CUSU.org, (2016) Source Media [online] available from <http://www.cusu.org/source/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Ereleases.com, (2012) How To Determine If That Networking Event Is Worth Attending [online] available from <http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/how-to-determine-if-that-networking-event-is-worth-attending/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Postproductionpro.com, (2016) Postproductionpro.Com [online] available from <http://postproductionpro.com/&gt; [12 April 2016]

 

 

Using Social Networking For Marketing

Marketing via social networks

When thinking of the promotion of my project, I tried to go from my past experience of how I have promoted my projects in the past, which has been largely through social networks. Due to the fact I am doing a crowdfunding campaign, this step needs to be treated with a large importance. So, I did research into what makes a campaign like mine successful.

When researching similar documentaries who undertake crowdfunding campaigns, I came across two documentaries, Saving Capitalism and Barney’s Wall, which I will use as an example. I have used both of their Facebook’s to break down how they have marketed themselves. (Saving Captilism Facebook, 2016) (Barney’s Wall Facebook, 2016). Both of these examples will be very helpful, Barney’s Wall has 390 likes and Saving Capitalism has 2917 likes. So whilst  Saving capitalism will show me what a heavily successful project will do, Barney’s Wall can show me more of a grounded view of how a lower audience production gains more of a following.

Barney’s Wall mixes up posts about popular film culture to gain a greater audience as well as behind the scenes pictures/footage and updates about the fundraising campaign.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 15.45.13

Saving Capitalism’s Facebook page is very similar and is constantly updating their audience with news on the indiegogo campaign, how the project is coming along in general and other relevant news if they think it may be applicable to show to their audience.

When reading a book on social media marketing, it claims that “Social media marketing plans, like any marketing plan, must target the audience in a meaningful and relevant manner”  (Tuten and Solomon, 2013). This is something that both of these facebook pages do in abundance. They both are always speaking about their campaign, which is something the backers will want to know if they are investing their time and money into the project, and they both speak about relevant topics that their audience will be interested in, such as film, television and current events which are applicable to their project.

As I do not have a marketing budget, I need to consider social media marketing as a matter of paramount importance as it allows me to reach a large audience for free. “With a minimal promotional budget, Raceway’s leadership recognizes the value of incorporating social media into its communications program“. (Tuten and Solomon, 2013) By this, we can see how top companies are resorting to social media marketing due to low budgets. So, this is definitely something that is worthwhile that I should be exploring.

As my documentary is about dating through a social network of sorts, marketing through social networks makes sense. Also, I have themed my page around dating, love and tinder in a modern way to help show my genre and target my young audience. I will make stylistic decisions with this in mind, reinforcing my genre and target audience.

When you sign up to Tinder “you simply log in through Facebook” (Bilton, 2014). Which shows quite how synonymous the two companies are, as everyone who has a Tinder profile, has a Facebook. So, marketing through Facebook will be very beneficial in reaching the right audience.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 14.48.41 (Modern Mobile Dating Facebook, 2016)

As well as my Facebook page, I have created a Twitter account for my production. This is so I can engage with my audience and other professionals/productions that would be helpful for the advancement of my project.
Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 14.55.15

(Modern Mobile Dating Twitter, 2016)

In order to keep my audience updated, I will be constantly updating both my Twitter and Facebook pages with information regarding the indiegogo campaign, the project development, sharing relevant information and engaging with professionals and projects.

References

Barney’s Wall Facebook. (2016) Barney’s Wall Facebook [online] available from <https://www.facebook.com/barneyswall/?fref=ts&gt; [2 April 2016]

Bilton, N. (2014) Tinder, The Fast-Growing Dating App, Taps An Age-Old Truth [online] available from <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/fashion/tinder-the-fast-growing-dating-app-taps-an-age-old-truth.html?_r=0&gt; [2 April 2016]

Modern Mobile Dating Facebook. (2016) Modern Mobile Dating Facebook [online] available from <https://www.facebook.com/Modern-Mobile-Dating-1066647800063127/&gt; [3 April 2016]

Modern Mobile Dating Twitter. (2016) Modern Mobile Dating Twitter [online] available from <https://www.twitter.com/ModernMobileDating/&gt; [3 April 2016]

Saving Capitalism Facebook. (2016) Saving Capitalism Facebook [online] available from <https://www.facebook.com/SavingCapitalism/?fref=ts&gt; [30 March 2016]

Tuten, T. and Solomon, M. (2013) Social Media Marketing. Boston: Pearson

 

Documentary Ethics

As my film can cause emotional distress in people due to it’s sensitive nature and perhaps put people into physical danger due to speaking to strangers, it is a project that is of a medium to high risk. This is assessed using the ethics guidelines provided by Coventry University. (Ethics.coventry.ac.uk, 2016) With regards to ethics in the documentary format, there isn’t an official set of rules to abide by. However, the IDA talk of a need to ‘protect the well-being of both film subjects and actual viewers’ (International Documentary Association, 2015). being the primary guideline. They go further into the meaning  behind this and say you should “do nothing that would violate the humanity of your subject and nothing that would compromise the trust of your audience.” As these guidelines are quite vague and don’t go into specifically what it means to avoid these actions, it made me question in what ways these ideas can be applicable to my project. So, I did research into how other documentaries have abided to these guidelines whilst also creating an entertaining piece. 
When looking at the silent documentary film Nanook of the North, (Robert Flaherty, 1922) it shows a lot of stereotypes of a culture and has been criticised for that. However, I wish to do very differently in my documentary. Whilst stereotypes often show the extreme for entertainment, I wish to show the grounded view and make an informative piece on what an actual opinions on Tinder, both through new users, old users, and through recording real events as they happen, thus not perpetuating the stereotypes. Although I appreciate that at the time Nanook of the North will have been incredibly insightful, I want to be able to create something that goes beyond stereotypes and offers new information to my audience. People may just live up to the stereotypes within my documentary, but it is of paramount importance that I am there to record the truth and not take away from what is the reality of the situation and delve as deep into the situation as possible.

 

When looking at the film Born Into Brothels (Zana Briski, Ross Kaufman, 2004) we can see how the producers form a relationship with their subjects as they have a large ethical responsibilities for the safety of their subjects and through the intervention they have allowed the children to be able to express themselves in the best and safest way possible.

In terms of my documentary, I will be taking numerous aspects from Born Into Brothels into my own production work. They had to cater their camera crew to encourage the subjects to act in a certain way. So, I will be doing the same and having a very small crew, often just myself, so I can connect personally with the individual to extract the most personal details possible. Also, by being very close to the subjects, whilst definitely being able to pass on my creative vision, I can ensure that I “do nothing that would violate the humanity of your subject”. However, by taking such an involved role, I must ensure that I do not “compromise the trust” of my audience by pushing my vision on the subjects too much and instead just guiding them to a safe and entertaining outcome without making it structured reality and having it still capture the truth.

 

Can Tinder Be a Sensitive Subject?

As Tinder is an application where you are speaking to strangers and deals with dating, a subject that can be very emotionally affective to people, it can be a very sensitive subject. In the media, it is often shown only through very negative circumstances. Therefore, people are often very passionate against the use of the application. So, I must respect this and protect the people who are passionate against Tinder through methods to keep them anonymous if they wish to be so.

References

Born into Brothels. (2004). [film] India: Zana Briski, Ross Kaufman.

Ethics.coventry.ac.uk, (2016). Low Risk Ethics Checklist. [online] Available at:https://ethics.coventry.ac.uk/about/Low-Risk-Ethics-Checklist.aspx [Accessed 4 Mar. 2016].

International Documentary Association, (2015). What to Do About Documentary Distortion? Toward a Code of Ethics. [online] Available at: http://www.documentary.org/content/what-do-about-documentary-distortion-toward-code-ethics-0 [Accessed 4 Mar. 2016].

Nanook of the North. (1922). [film] Artic Circle: Robert Flaherty.

Running An IndieGoGo

INdieGoGo

My IndieGoGo campaign has now been made and is currently underway. I have decided after doing a budget plan that a goal of $500 (£350) will cover the costs of what I need. This includes money needed to create the perks, the cost of using any and all the equipment I need, distributing the film to festivals and my travel costs to get to shoot locations.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 11.33.54

(Reilly, 2016)

The first couple of days have been fairly slow. I have had contact with people who are claiming they will be donating in the near future, but no donations have been made yet. This is something I expect will change soon. When looking at a couple of popular campaigns that are that are currently going on and are popular; like Pair of Aces (Pair of Aces IndieGoGo, 2016) and Car to Farm, Italy tour documentary (Car to Farm Italy IndieGoGo, 2016). You can see they use various perks to incentivise people to donate. When looking at the types of perks they offer, I have created my own:

$2- Our Thanks

$7- A signed picture from all of the cast of the documentary poster

$15- Your name in the documentary credits

$20- Digital download of Modern Mobile Dating with behind the scenes footage

$50- DVD of Modern Mobile Dating with behind the scenes footage

When looking at a video on 3 tips of sourcing money for productions (Inc.com, 2015), they claim that reducing costs for perks is a key idea to prevent yourself from channeling all your money back into the fundraising campaign. So, I have stuck to a lot of perks that require minimal costs and have digital deliveries or cheap postage and packaging. The picture will be very cheap to mail and the dvd will be cheap to produce compared to the $50 cost. As I am close to all members of the cast, it will be easy to get their involvement in the perks I offer that involve them.26

References

Car to Farm Italy IndieGoGo. (2016) CLICK HERE To Support Car To Farm Italy Tour: Documentary & Cookbook[online] available from <https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/car-to-farm-italy-tour-documentary-cookbook/x/13835322#/&gt; [21 March 2016]

Inc.com, (2015). Indiegogo CEO Offers 3 Pro Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign. [online] Available at: http://www.inc.com/danae-ringelmann/playbook-3-crowdfunding-pro-tips.html [Accessed 7 Apr. 2015].

Pair of Aces IndieGoGo. (2016) CLICK HERE To Support Pair Of Aces – Short Film [online] available from <https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pair-of-aces-short-film/x/13835322#/&gt; [17 April 2016]

Reilly, A. (2016) CLICK HERE To Support Modern Mobile Dating – A Tinder Documentary[online] available from <https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/modern-mobile-dating-a-tinder-documentary/x/13835322#/&gt; [17 April 2016]

Treatment

“Whereas a proposal presents its argument rationally via categorized information, the treatment evokes how an audience will experience the film on the screen. Write in the active-voice in present tense. Tell the reader what they will see and hear on the screen. Describe the story and introduce any characters.”  (Filmandmedia.ucsb.edu, 2016)

The documentary follows four people through their adventures using the mobile dating app, Tinder. We get to experience their experiences, feel their feelings and peek into their lives as they try and navigate and traverse the world of mobile dating, some with more experience than others. Two of our participants have never used Tinder before, so they will be learning as they go! However, the other two use Tinder regularly. So, you get to see their antics on the platform, showing what it is like in the normal week of a user! It shows a more grounded view of dating apps, unlike the documentary The Secret World of Tinder, which shows the extremes. By showing the grounded view, it will show more of a raw documentary and get into the brass tax of the morality and meaning behind the prevalence of Tinder. In a paper named It’s a match! : Exploring dating apps and the self-presentation of users, it claims that “dating apps have become increasing common in the last few years. As the popularity of online dating increased, the associated level of negative stigma seemed to shrink“.(Ranzini and Lutz, 2016) This idea will be explored throughout this documentary and evidenced either positively or negatively through experiences that the chosen users encounter. This documentary will further explore old truths of dating and see if they still pertain. Is it just a superficial app? PhD Ms. Carbino discovered “that Tinder users decoded an array of subtle and not-so-subtle traits before deciding which way to swipe” (Bilton, 2014) The documentary shows closely just how the participants go through their matchmaking process. The same study also found that “While Tinder seems to have done a lot of things right, the company has also made plenty of mistakes. For example, some women have complained of being harassed on the service.” (Bilton, 2014) This documentary also explores the morality behind the application and whether it adds a platform for superficial behaviour and harassment.

References

Bilton, N. (2014) Tinder, The Fast-Growing Dating App, Taps An Age-Old Truth [online] available from <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/fashion/tinder-the-fast-growing-dating-app-taps-an-age-old-truth.html?_r=0rs&gt; [22 March 2016]

Filmandmedia.ucsb.edu (2016) How To Write A Documentary Treatment Or Proposal….. [online] available from <http://www.filmandmedia.ucsb.edu/people/faculty/portuges/papers/How_to_write_a_documentary_treatment.pdf&gt; [12 March 2016]

Ranzini, G. and Lutz, C. (2016) It’s A Match! : Exploring Dating Apps And The Self-Presentation Of Users – Alexandria [online] available from <https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/246131/&gt; [22 March 2016]

Call Sheet

In terms of a call sheet for a documentary, I found a relevant example online and modified the template to suit my needs.

call-sheet-template1-page0001

(Chapman, 2013)

Here is an example of a call sheet I gave to a cameraman I had working on one of the days with one of the participants:

CALL SHEET MMD-page0001

I modified this template and sent it to each person involved a few days before they were required to help to ensure they had all the key information handy.

References

Chapman, M. (2013) Call Sheet For My Documentary [online] available from <https://markchapmanmedia.wordpress.com/year-1-moving-image/unit-27-factual-programme-production/call-sheet-for-my-documentary/&gt; [4 May 2016]

Being a Documentary Producer.

BEING A DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER

Being a producer for film can entail a lot of similar responsibilities, but being a producer of a documentary means you have to capture truth. I have undertaken research into the key responsibilities it takes to be a filmmaker in the documentary format. I have then further analysed what I believe to be my strong and weak areas are and how I can work to these strengths/strengthen my weaknesses.

According to Creative Skill Set, these are some major points on how to be a producer: (creativeskillset.org, 2016):

Pre-production

Before production begins, the producer has a key role to play. “In pre-production, Producers bring together the key members of the creative team.“(creativeskillset.org, 2016). So, to be successful, I need to work very closely with all members of my team in order to ensure that everyone knows their role and how they will be contributing. This ensures that I know my production inside and out and gives my team the opportunity to produce to the best of their abilities.

Funding

Also during pre-production, another key element of my role is to help in the funding, producers “help the Executive Producers to raise money for the production“.(creativeskillset.org, 2016) As I am the only producer on the production, I will take on the entire responsibility for raising funds. Despite not using it before, I have heard numerous success stories using the fundraising site IndieGoGo (IndieGoGo, 2016) and will use it as the main source for funding. To be able to get people to part with their money, I will have to be creative with my marketing techniques in order to sell my idea to them. Whilst this puts a lot of creative pressure on myself, it allows me to have maximum creative control over the image I present of my project in marketing.

Logistics

In terms of logistics, “Producers also approve locations, studio hire, the final shooting script, production schedule and budget.”(creativeskillset.org, 2016) So, I would be in charge of ensuring that all of these sections are being taken care of. Whilst a scripted film will deal with these sections in a certain way, you have to view it differently for documentary and take special account for each section and how it’s applicable for the documentary genre. For instance:

Shooting Script – Have a good treatment that I can work towards as a goal.

Locations – Scout the possible locations for interviews and areas the subject is often in terms of acoustics, possible camera locations and lightings.

Budget – Work out how much money you need for each aspect of the production and ways of funding it.

Production Schedule – Create a schedule in terms of when each aspect of your production will be undertaken.

 Production

Something that doesn’t change from scripted film and documentary film is the fact that “once the film is in production, Producers are responsible for the day-to-day smooth operation of the team.”(creativeskillset.org, 2016) So, throughout the production, I must either undertake the responsibility for a certain aspect running smoothly first hand or ensure it is second handedly.  The Nest offers further insight into producers, especially for documentaries, saying that ‘stories can evolve and take on new dimensions throughout the interview and shooting phase’. (The Nest, 2016)So in order to be successful, I must be able to constantly be able to adapt to new circumstances as they arise.

Post-Production

According to creative skill set, a producer in a typical situation would; “During post production, Producers are expected to liaise with the Director and post production department.” (creativeskillset.org, 2016) Sharing ideas with all of the post production team is a key part in creating a project in the producers eyes. However, as I am working on a very low budget, and fancy myself as a decent editor, I will be editing the documentary myself, whilst getting a second opinion on certain aspects when needed from other professionals. This will be a very lengthy process but also it ensures that everything is done to the creative vision I have, both stylistically and sending the same truth that I want to show, whilst cutting out any excess that is unnecessary information.

Distribution is also a category that falls into the realm of the producer’s responsibilities. (The Nest, 2016) I have done this on smaller levels before, this will be much larger due to the nature of the project. However, I feel I can definitely upscale my efforts, putting more importance into my promotion campaign in terms of time, resources and imagination.

References

IndieGoGo.com, (2016) available from <https://www.indiegogo.com; [21 April 2015]

Creativeskillset.org. (2016) Producer [online] available from <http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles/757_producer&gt; [21 Apr 2016]

The Nest, (2016) Responsibilities Of Documentary Producers [online] available from <http://woman.thenest.com/responsibilities-documentary-producers-12471.html&gt; [10 April 2016]

 

 

Logline

The logline is truly an art form of its own. It’s the one or two sentence summary of your film that not only conveys your premise, but also gives the reader emotional insight into the story as a whole.” it should “efficiently represent the story and get the potential reader interested.” (Kroll, N, 2016) So, I want to create a logline that shows all of these features.

When looking at the Raindance website, it gives 10 tips on creating a killer logline which I am going to try and follow:

1: A logline should have the following: the protagonist, their goal, the antagonist/antagonistic force

4 daters try to traverse the tough world of Tinder

2: Tell us something interesting about the character E.g. “a sous-chef”.

4 young daters.

3: Use an adjective to give character depth.

4 young, single daters.

4: Quickly present the protagonist’s goal.

…in order to find a partner.

5: Describe the antagonist very shortly.

… the mobile dating platform

6: Make the protagonist pro-active. They should drive the story.

in order to find a partner covers this.

7: If possible, include stakes and/or a ticking time bomb. E.g. To save his reputation a secretly gay frat-boy must sleep with 15 women by the end-of-semester party.

n/a.

8: Setup. E.g. In a world where all children are grown in vats…

in an increasingly technological world…

9: About the ending. Do not reveal it.

10: Don’t tell the story, sell the story. Create a desire to see the script as well as telling them what’s in it. (Raindance.org, 2013)

Which comes up with this: In an increasingly technological world, 4 young, single daters attempt to traverse the the tough world of Tinder, a mobile dating platform, in order to find a partner.

Whilst this logline seems quite good, it perhaps might be following a fiction guideline too tightly. So, I must find loglines of documentaries and see if it fits well amongst them. When looking at the filmdaily.tv website, I found a bunch of loglines for very highly rated documentaries:

America: Imagine the World Without Her: A story that questions the shaming of the US through revisionist history, lies and omissions by educational institutions, political organizations, Alinsky, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other progressives to destroy America.

Catfish: Young filmmakers document their colleague’s budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

The Act of Killing: A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

The Imposter: A documentary centered on a young Frenchman who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years. (Filmdaily.tv, 2015)

My logline looks very similar to a lot of these. They show and describe who the protagonist(s) are and the context in which they are placed. However, they tell the form also. Which is something my logline doesn’t include. Here is my revised logline:

“In an increasingly technological world, this documentary follows 4 young, single daters as they attempt to find a partner as whilst traversing through the tough world of Tinder, the mobile dating application.”

References

Filmdaily.tv. (2015) Top Box Office Documentary Loglines [online] available from <http://www.filmdaily.tv/documentary/top-box-office-documentary-loglines&gt; [17 March 2016]

Kroll, N. (2016) How To Write The Perfect Logline: And Why It’s As Important As Your Screenplay [online] available from <http://www.indiewire.com/article/how-to-write-the-perfect-logline-and-why-its-as-important-as-your-screenplay&gt; [17 March 2016]

Raindance.org. (2013) 10 Tips For Writing Loglines – Raindance [online] available from <http://www.raindance.org/10-tips-for-writing-loglines/&gt; [17 March 2016]

Proposal

Usually a proposal will contain the following information, shown in each heading (Filmandmedia.ucsb.edu, 2016) :

Length of work, format.

The documentary will be a 30 minute long documentary that will follow four people’s adventures with Tinder, two of which will not have used it and two that use it regularly, it will also have filler segments with interviews on the street and facts etc.

Who is the intended audience?

The core audience for this documentary are 25-34 year olds. Almost half of the Tinder users fall under this age group at 45%. The secondary audience is 16-24 year olds, with 38% of Tinder’s userbase falling into this category. When focusing on these audiences, we hit 84% of Tinder userbase.

However, this is still quite a broad spectrum. So, we will further narrow this down to urban people, which make up 76% of Tinder users. We will apply this to both our primary and secondary audiences. Furthermore, we are going to also add the condition of them being male. This is due to the fact that the majority of Tinder users are male over female. Also, I feel aiming it towards men would be more interesting stylistically as I feel there would be more varying opinions on aspects of mobile dating.

Primary audience: Male, 25-34, urban.

Secondary audience: Male, 16-24, urban.

f6280e_6fac6117aea04294ba5afcc8518ef431

I will be catering the participants I choose to be on the documentary to fit the intended target audience.

Goal or intended purpose(s) of the film

“The pleasure and appeal of documentary film lies in its ability to make us see timely issues in need of attention, literally. We see views of the world, and what they put before us are social issues and cultural values, current problems and possible solutions, actual situations and specific ways of representing them” (Nichols, 1991). These are the general purposes of a documentary, all of which will be an intended purpose of my documentary in one sense or another:

Social Issues: I aim to convey current social issues that the application causes, such as promoting treating people as objects and becoming more separated from the individual you are talking to.

Cultural Values: I will be representing the cultural values that individuals who are informed on the subject and how they have developed through interview situations.

Current Problems and Possible Solutions: Through the participants experiences, it will unearth issues which they encounter with Tinder and thus they will go through possible solutions to these issues.

Actual Situations and Specific Ways of Representing Them: As the documentary will be focusing on the reality and the norm of Tinder users, rather than the extraordinary, it will represent actual situations and represent them in a homely manner so you feel genuine connection with the individual on screen.

Has any media work already been produced on this subject? If so, what is new, different, interesting, engaging about your approach?

The Secret World of Tinder  – The secret world of Tinder is a documentary that follows a few of Tinder’s more extravagant user base as they regale us with their stories of the experiences they have had on the app. – Whilst this is an entertaining concept, I am for my documentary to be different in the way that it will be be more informative of a typical user’s experiences, being a fly-on-the-wall perspective as they let you into their dating lifestyle.

Style (Any key stylistic elements in writing, shooting, audio, editing, etc.)

As it’s a documentary, the writing style will be fairly lax. I don’t wish to create it as a structured reality. So, I will ensure that I give them enough subjects to dive into should they lack inspiration and give them the correct direction in the technical side of it all, to ensure that the footage captured is of a high quality both in subject and technically.

When shooting, I want it to be appear informal, like the subject is talking to a friend, so the subject will always been engaging with an individual behind the camera so it helps in creating this atmosphere. Thus, the subject will have a better relationship with the camera and in turn the audience.

In terms of audio, there will be ambient music used for filler between subjects, during title sequences and when it is necessary to create more emotion out of a scene, to keep in line with the documentaries I researched and match the style.

When editing, I want to stick to a similar style throughout, making sure all the cuts stick to the same fashion in the same situation, the titles the same, the font the same and the soundtrack to be consistent. This is so I don’t draw the attention away from the subject matter whilst still appearing professional.

What about the soundtrack?

I will be sourcing all of the music through royalty free websites where I can find a sound that can suit my film for free, minimalising expenses.

Who is working on the project? What similar projects have they done in the past?

I will be spearheading the project whilst having a cameraman with me on certain shoots who has been with me on a few other projects before. Both of us have been involved in various documentary shoots before and are aware of the fly on the wall type angle we want to achieve.

How will this work be distributed?

It will be distributed through film festivals, online platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube and shared through social media. I aim to research much deeper into the subject before deciding completely on distribution methods.

References

Filmandmedia.ucsb.edu (2016) How To Write A Documentary Treatment Or Proposal….. [online] available from <http://www.filmandmedia.ucsb.edu/people/faculty/portuges/papers/How_to_write_a_documentary_treatment.pdf&gt; [12 March 2016]

Nichols, B. (1991) Representing Reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p.4.

Production Schedule/Style Sheet

During my pre-production, I decided to create a style sheet/production schedule to give the contributors an idea of the work they will be undertaking. Furthermore, it will serve as a reminder to myself as to what type of events I wish to capture and what progression I will be showing.

I created one schedule for people that have used Tinder before and people who have not, as they will need to be recording different things. Obviously, these are just a rough idea and have to be adapted for events as they happen. Here are both of the filming schedules:

MMD(NT) Contributor Production Schedule-page0001 MMD(NT) Contributor Production Schedule-page0002 MMD(T) Contributor Production Schedule-page0001 MMD(T) Contributor Production Schedule-page0002


Contributor Release Forms/Copyright Forms

After assessing the nature of my project, I came to the decision that both contributor release forms and copyright forms were not a necessary route that I needed to take.

In reference to the contributor release form, it states on the BBC website that they aren’t necessary for “anyone who appears as part of a crowd scene or fleetingly in the background”(BBC.co.uk, 2016) A person is never the main subject of my photographs, a couple of people appear very fleetingly in the background, but are not even recognisable. Furthermore, I do not represent a company or institution. As I am not making a representation of a particular place, this agreement is not applicable for my production. You can see that from this example Location release form. (Comm.unc.edu, 2016) Therefore, for all the reasons stated above, these forms will not be necessary for my production.

When looking at an example of a copyright form, the main benefit of doing so was for financial gain and protection against distribution without your consent. (Copyrightservice.co.uk, 2016) As my main aim of the project was to provide information about the areas, I want these images to be distributed freely, something I think a copyright may hold back and stop me from achieving these images reaching as many people as possible. Therefore, I do not think a copyright is necessary for my production.

References

BBC.co.uk (2016) BBC – Film Network – Filmmaking – Guide – Legal Guide: Production Agreements [online] available from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/filmmaking/guide/production/legal-guide-production-agreements&gt; [12 March 2016]

Comm.unc.edu (2016) Location Release Form [online] available from <http://www.comm.unc.edu/files/2011/10/locationrelease.pdf&gt; [12 March 2016]

Copyrightservice.co.uk, (2016) Fact Sheet P-16: Photography And Copyright [online] available from <https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/protect/p16_photography_copyright&gt; [12 March 2016]

Online Production Portfolio

Branding Development

To market my film, I need to have a distinctive brand that is sleek, modern and says what I do. I had a look at a couple of logos and developed my design around that.

Print

(Amyxvideo.com, 2016)

  • Good spacing
  • Genre of work clearly defined through pictures and writing
  • Sleek font and design.

 

thumbnail-5569baff-fbe4-4bb5-b20d-46d70a141f38-260x156-egHvw

(Anon, 2016)

  • Very sleek design.
  • Good use of black and white
  • Obvious genre from pictures and words
  • Good, clear font

So, I have taken some of the best aspects of these designs that I have analysed and created my own logo in a similar design.

reilly productions logo

References

Amyxvideo.com, (2016) Bio [online] available from <http://www.amyxvideo.com/Bio.html&gt; [10 March 2016]

Anon. (2016) Tagged: Video Editing [online] available from <https://www.mojomarketplace.com/tag/videoediting&gt; [10 March 2016]

Representation Development For Documentary

When thinking of my idea, as it is quite grounded and similar to everyday life, I want the audience to feel this. “In the making of Nanook, the real Nanook has a relationship with the camera that is part of his reality.” (Grant et al. 1998)  I want to convey this type of relationship in my film. I want the contributors to treat the camera as part of their reality. Like it is a friend they are speaking to about their experiences. When analysing Nanook of the North further, we can see that; “Nanook is not a mere “persona”; he is a human being of flesh and blood” (Grant et al. 1998) I want to avoid creating a structured reality esque documentary. I don’t want to create something fake. I want it to be real. So, whilst I will be creating a “persona” around them in order to make an entertaining and relatable character, I will be also taking Nanook’s approach and showing more about them. I will be showing how they are a real person, with real feelings that the audience can hopefully indulge themselves in.

Documentary has the ability to “open our eyes to worlds available to us but, for one reason or another, not perceived”. (Barnouw, 1993) Even though people are generally aware of the idea behind the app Tinder, they will have not had the experience of having such a fly on the wall, behind the scenes look at how an average user interacts with the app on a regular basis. Through the use of having my a week using tinder segment, I hope to show this viewpoint well. When creating my documentary, I should think carefully about what I wish to convey. Through my documentary, I want to show how a new and regular Tinder interacts with the application and their thoughts about the morality, security and dating potential of using Tinder. “We know already that documentary sources do not transparently describe or reveal state of affairs. They help construct them”.(Silverman, 2005) So, when I am showing these messages I should stray away from trying to transparently describe them and instead allow all these issues to arise naturally to help construct the state of affairs in a truthful and productive manner.

References

Barnouw, E. (1993) Documentary. New York: Oxford University Press. p.4.

Grant, B., Sloniowski, J. and Nichols, B. (1998) Documenting The Documentary. Wayne State University Press. p.25

Silverman, D. (2005) Doing Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications. p.85.

First Draft of a Script.

I created a very rough first draft of a script. As I will be creating a documentary about people’s experiences that I cannot completely control, it is hard to create a completely nailed down script. Throughout the script, I mention certain topics I wish to cover with them. However, these might not be applicable or other things may take precedent at the time. This script does give a good structure to how the documentary will be edited, defining clear sections.

However, I have felt that using a script in this format has not necessarily been all that helpful, as I am producing in the documentary format. “Scripts are often not used in documentary films—because you cannot predict what will happen when the camera is rolling. In place of a script, filmmakers use treatments, proposals, or even outlines–to describe and help plan a documentary project.” (Filmandmedia.ucsb.edu, 2016) From this information, it leads me to believe I should carry some of this information over to and focus on creating a good treatment/proposal  from my initial outline.

 

Modern%20Mobile%20Dating%20Script1 Modern%20Mobile%20Dating%20Script2Filmandmedia.ucsb.edu (2016) How To Write A Documentary Treatment Or Proposal….. [online] available from <http://www.filmandmedia.ucsb.edu/people/faculty/portuges/papers/How_to_write_a_documentary_treatment.pdf&gt; [12 March 2016]

Budget

To ensure that I will be able to viably create this documentary, I have researched into what would be a realistic overall cost for all the potential expenses. To do this, I looked into what it would cost in the industry to hire certain equipment and crew I would require. I have also taken into account other expenditures such as travel and catering.

Below there is the costing information I have retrieved from the Coventry University production rate card and broken down the expected costs for each individual item.

 Cast & Crew:

  • DoP (Cinematographer) -£674
  • Camera Operator  £468
  • Sound Mixer  £469
  • Editor  £674
  • Sound Editor  £674
  • Actor  £400
  • Boom Operator  £377

Equipment Hire:

  • Canon 60D  £60
  • Sennheiser ME66 Rifle Mic  £30
  • Sennheiser Radio Mics  £15
  • Headphones  £5
  • Boom Pole  £4
  • Cables  £4
  • Manfrotto 501HDV Tripod £15

Other:

  • Catering – £50
  • Distribution (Festival Entry Fees) – £100
  • Travel – £100
  • Total = £4119

If this equipment wasn’t already available to hire due to being a student at university, this is realistically how much this would cost to produce the documentary per day. This should help in reducing the cost largely having access to equipment and crew. This will be my new budget:

  • Travel – £100
  • Contributors – £400
  • Distribution (Festival Entry Fees) – £100
  • Catering – £50

Total = £650

This budget is a lot more viable, realistically I would not have been able to raise £4119+ in this small time period. However, the £650 should be a realistic target to achieve. To fund the money, I am going to set up a funding page through Indie GoGo. On this page I will outline the major details of the documentary I will be producing and tell the investors to what their money will be going towards specifically.  I will provide artefacts on the page to show potential suitors that the project is viable. Furthermore, I will offer rewards for certain levels of investment to encourage larger donations.

Evaluating My First Shoot

I have just undertaken my first day of shooting for Modern Mobile dating. This included setting up a Tinder profile and filming one of my contributors initial reactions and feelings about the application. These are the notes I have taken from the day, decided what strengths and weaknesses I had and how I can create more successful shoots in the future. 
Positives
I was able to engage my subject well. As I have had previous interactions with this subject, it allowed them to feel comfortable around me and perhaps reveal more of their true emotions, which allowed for a more interesting shoot. She was more willing to divulge more personal details and offered more of a complex analysis of matters as a result. Because of the relationship we have, I will be able to maintain this high level of discussion with the subject throughout filming, which should hopefully lead to more entertaining and successful footage.
The shooting wrapped up fairly quickly, lasting between 1 and 2 hours. I feel that the pre-production planning played an integral role to ensuring that this happened. By providing the shooting schedule, including topics to discuss, to the subject ahead of time, it allowed her to be prepared. This day of shooting highlighted the paramount importance of planning in a professional manner and how it can greatly affect the quality of your footage. Moving forward, I will continue to be diligent in my pre-production to ensure that my subjects are fully aware of all aspects of the role so that they are comfortable and confident. 
Negatives
Despite making notes about how I was going to set up on location when making my recce’s, set up went slower than I would have predicted. As there are 6 people that live in the same house as the subject, it was difficult ensure that all noise was kept to a minimum and that they weren’t interfering with the shoot. This lead to myself making errors with the microphone set up, leading to the audio being too quiet. As this is a segment in which my subject is experiencing something for the first time, it is impossible to reshoot whilst still staying true to the documentary format I wish to pursue. So, it has lead to me having to put a lot more work into the post production sound edit to save the footage, something I could have avoided.

How can I improve this?

Unfortunately, reshoots aren’t a possibility without getting into a grey area of truth in documentary I do not want to be involved in. So, my only option is to run with the footage and salvage the audio as best I can. Luckily, sound was being captured from the microphone, the phone audio and the onboard camera microphone, so I feel I can definitely make something work.

In terms of improving for the future, whilst I did check the area for its acoustic properties before shooting, I should have still taken the time to properly test the audio on the day. As I allowed myself to get flustered by having to set up so quickly, it made me forget some key components that I had set myself to do beforehand. This is something I aim to work on in the future to ensure I keep a level head throughout. Whilst this is a setback, it is something I can salvage and improve on.

Moving forward, I will learn from my mistakes and head this quote from William J Clinton: “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit” (William J. Clinton, 1992)

References

William J. Clinton (1992) William J. Clinton Quotes At Brainyquote.Com [online] available from <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williamjc454937.html?src=t_mistakes&gt; [10 February 2016]

Portfolios, What Works and Why?

When thinking about creating my own editor’s portfolio, I started looking at portfolios online and analysing them in terms of the vision I have to create the best portfolio possible. Through doing this procedure, I will be able to create a portfolio to the best fit the purpose of one.

 

“If there is one aspect of online presence that job seekers should create and develop, it’s the online portfolio. According to a recent Forbes article, 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s online portfolio than any other personal branding tool.”  (Levo.com, 2014)

So, I should take extra detail to the entire process.

Blogs

When looking at an article on how using blogs is a popular choice for a portfolio, they say that “Blogging for me has been hugely beneficial for my learning, because of the power to not only think of an audience (making me think deeper about what I write), but also about connecting with the audience.” (George, 2014). So, I need to consider whether these aspects are relevant for my portfolio subject matter through analysing how the examples use this.

Examples

One blog that particularly seemed impressive was Premiumbeat’s on video editing (Premiumbeat.com, 2016). As it’s very professionally created on the subject matter.

It is a very popular website and can give me an idea of an industry ideal. The layout is very clean and sleek, something that I can definitely take forward to my own site. Plus, it holds a lot of information about skill sets that they possess and demonstrating the skillset. Using the technique would prove to potential industry relations that I can do all the skills I claim I can.

Another blog I looked at is Filmeditingpro as it is a smaller company, still successful but still demonstrates skillsets that the individuals possess. (Filmeditingpro, 2016)

This blog is quite a bit less sleek in design but still offers a lot of skills and demonstrates their ability to do them. The blog is informative and is helpful to the user base that use it.

I feel that a blog is probably not an effective tool for showing off my traits as an individual as mainly blogs are used by larger companies that have the time and resources to make all of these videos. So, I will look into more feasible ways of demonstrating that I possess these skills.

Website

Another popular choice nowadays are websites where the individuals can update their information onto a static web space, ‘sites have become a hub for the independent filmmaking community, and are a vital resource.’ (Raindance, 2013)  So, I must do this process well to properly make use of this vital resource.

Examples

When looking at the website from Rina Svet, video editor, it ticks a lot of boxes that I wish to do so. (Svet, 2016)

  • Very sleek website design.
  • About section which includes a resume, recommendations and services page.
  • Contact page including all social media and contact information necessary
  • Portfolio page split into relevant sections for different bodies of work

Another website I looked at was one of Mary Brownlee, another video editor. (Brownlee, 2016)

  • Very simple but modern website design.
  • Contact links shown in header throughout.
  • Portfolio shows a decent amount of videos then shows a link to see more.
  • Personal about section.
  • Resume section

Finally, I looked at a website from Ed Enayat, another video editor. (Enayat, 2016)

  • Simple and modern, well framed website.
  • Contact and social networking shown throughout on sidebar
  • In depth about section.
  • In depth video portfolio.

What I learnt from all this is that I want all of these features in my website, taking inspiration from how all these individuals tackled these aspects:

  • Personal about section
  • Section for resume/portfolio
  • Contact page
  • Sleek and professional design
  • In depth information at all junctures.

After analysing the ways in which other in the same industry as I want to enter have presented themselves in a professional context. I feel I now can create a portfolio online and do it in a professional and effective fashion.

References

Brownlee, M. (2016) Mary Brownlee – Video Editor Etc. [online] available from <http://www.marybrownlee.net/&gt; [10 February 2016]

Enayat, E. (2015) ED ENAYAT – VIDEO EDITOR [online] available from <http://www.edsediting.tv/&gt; [10 January 2016]

Filmeditingpro.com, (2016) Film Editing Pro [online] available from <http://www.filmeditingpro.com/blog/&gt; [10 February 2016]

George, (2014) 5 Reasons Your Portfolio Should Be A Blog [online] available from <http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4919&gt; [10 February 2016]

Levo.com, (2014) 4 Reasons Why You Need An Online Portfolio [online] available from <http://www.levo.com/articles/career-advice/4-reasons-you-need-an-online-portfolio&gt; [10 February 2016]

Premiumbeat.com, (2016) Video Editing Archives – The Beat: A Blog By Premiumbeat [online] available from <http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/category/video-editing/&gt; [10 February 2016]

Raindance.org, (2013) Top 13 Sites For Independent Filmmakers – Raindance [online] available from <http://www.raindance.org/top-13-sites-for-independent-filmmakers/&gt; [10 February 2016]

Svet, R. (2016) Rina Svet | Video Editor | Motion Graphics Artist | NYC [online] available from <http://www.rinasvet.com/&gt; [10 February 2016]

 

Writing A CV For Being An Editor

Making A CV

Considering that I have an idea about my professional career and the direction that I would like to go in, being a self employed editor or editor at a creative industry, I undertook research into creating a customised CV to reflect these ambitions. I ended up creating this:

In order to create this, I started with researching CVs in the field in which I want to enter.

CV Examples

I looked at the resume of Olivia Coupe, assistant editor for  shows such as Downtown Abbey. (Coupe, 2016) Whilst this is a very impressive resume that displays her achievements and experience excellently, I do not have such a wealth of experience. So, if I was to shape my CV in a similar way, it would look fairly empty.

A slightly different type of CV can be seen through Ruth Mitchell’s. (Mitchell, 2016). As she doesn’t have as much experience, like I, she has focused more on information about herself both academically and personally. This helps in giving a better picture of the individual which is important whilst also distracting away from the weaker area of experience.

When creating my CV, “The best way to look at a CV is to see it as a ‘marketing tool’ or a ‘sales brochure’ where you sell your skills, qualities, expertise and potential to a prospective employer.”  (CVplaza.com, 2016) So I should look at it with paramount importance so I can sell myself. I should be able to show what my skills and qualities are that will make me employable.

According to Jobhero, they speak about what are the key factors which you should be including in a video editor cv:

“Typical sample resumes for Video Editors highlight duties such as interpreting and discussing briefs, assembling raw footage, using specialized computer software for editing purposes, selecting usable sequences, putting sequences in order and making other content tweaks. Video Editors should demonstrate computer proficiency, video editing tools experience, creativity, being able to understand the director’s artistic vision, teamwork, time management, and good communication skills. A degree in film production represents an advantage.” (Jobhero.com, 2016) So I will aim to demonstrate all these values within different sections within my CV.

Whilst I know these are the things I should be including, how should I structure and format it? According to office-angels, I should have the following sections: Personal details, personal statement, employment history and experience, Education and training, additional skill, interests, references. (Office-angels.com, 2016). So I will be including all the skills, qualities and information listed above into the latter sections. But, I need to format this all to look good, The CV “shouldn’t be any longer than two pages of A4, You need to get as much information in as possible, too much dense text will be overwhelming (it needs to be sleek and easy to read) and ‘Sans’ fonts are the safest bet: try Arial, Calibri or Tahoma, and use around font size 10 for the body text.” (Office-angels.com, 2016). So I will attempt to format all the information in this manner.

So, I have created the following CV as a result:

 

Evaluation

The best way to judge how effective my CV is, is by how well it helps me in the professional capacity. However, I have yet to have this experience so I can only judge how well I have created it. I feel it is created with all the aspects I had in mind and researched included. I used all the professional tips and moulded my CV on that and the work of successful individuals in the same industry. So, in that context I believe it to be a success and have no qualms about its ability to help me in a professional capacity.

References

Coupe, O. (2016) Olivia Coupe CV [online] available from <https://oliviacoupe.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/oliviacoupecvnov2012-copy1.jpg&gt; [10 Jan 2016]

CVplaza.com, (2016) What A CV Is, It’s Purpose And It’s Importance! – CV Plaza [online] available from <http://www.cvplaza.com/cv-basics/what-is-a-cv/&gt; [14 March 2016]

Jobhero.com, (2016) Video Editor Resume Samples | Jobhero [online] available from <http://www.jobhero.com/resume-samples/video-editor#&gt; [13 March 2016]

Mitchell, R. (2016) Ruth Mitchell CV [online] available from <http://www.dayjob.com/images/pic_editorial_assistant_resume.jpg&gt; [9 January 2016]

Office-angels.com, (2016) How To Write And Design Your CV Using Microsoft Word | Office Angels [online] available from <http://www.office-angels.com/help-and-advice/news-and-opinion/blogs/cv-using-microsoft-word.aspx#.VzJpjKMrL2I&gt; [10 February 2016]

Evaluation

What specific skills or knowledge have you developed to produce CW2? How did you challenge yourself? What would you like to do better? How can you develop your interests/skills further?

This was my initial pitch:

When reading this blog on 10 ways to make a successful film pitch, I feel I have done certain aspects correct with my pitch. (Make Film Teach Film, 2012) For instance, I feel that I have made the genre very clearly defined in the ways in which I describe my documentary throughout. I also feel that I have effectively kept it short and sweet, cramming as much information into a short time as possible whilst still initiating aspects which would want the audience to hear more of the content. However, my pitch is vastly lacking in visual aids. The lack of these are a detriment to the pitch in terms of fully engaging the audience. This is something I will be rectifying in my final pitch. Furthermore, I do not believe I have made the pitch personal enough to myself. I should show my personal connection to the subject matter more obviously to show authenticity. Finally, I should have said “who was the story about” and given further information about my contributors to allow the audience to forge a connection with them.

When watching a video about pitching techniques, it speaks in vast quantities about engaging your audience, something I feel I did poorly. (Make Film Teach Film, 2012) I could improve this through her suggested techniques of creating a killer logline that is one line and has a hook and by perhaps making the presentation more interactive to entertain the audience. Furthermore, I listened to a BBC podcast on giving the killer pitch. Within this podcast they say when they are pitching a “factual thing” that they will have some “territory thoughts but it’s much more of an embryonic conversation (Bbc.co.uk, 2012) So, as I am pitching a documentary, perhaps I should be remembering some key information but try to have the interlinking conversation come naturally. This could definitely help in the pitch seem more genuine. 

Since I was doing a documentary, I had to deal with the fact that “representing reality deals with meaning meanings and values, interpretations and purposes, not simply with signs and systems“. (Nichols, 1991) So, I have to be careful in what I put forward and think of the implications of what I create. I will had to take this into account when planning the content I wish to use.

Furthermore, I had to start thinking of ways in which I can fund my project. After reading an article about the most successful kickstarter campaigns, I decided that would be my main course of action for funding. (Filmmakeriq.com, 2011) As I can see that a documentary about a current trend (Minecraft) is up there at number 2, it makes me believe that this course of action I am taking is viable. However, I believe I need to have a much more thorough and professional proof of concept artefact to attract more donations, this is a constant throughout all of these projects. This means that marketing has to be an even larger part of my plan of action. “Marketing means promoting what is best about your work, giving buyers a reason to want to own it or rent it.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) As well as giving the audience a reason to donate, I have to continue to challenge myself to ensure the end product is successful so the donators can see their money went to something worthwhile. This means I have to create a marketing technique to ensure the film’s success. This has been done through the plan of entering certain film festivals that I have researched and I will continue to research into marketing techniques, as I have learnt that it is a very important aspect of production from this module.

As I am using a crowdfunding system, I had to create an accurate budget to give credible goals for funding. I found this challenging but I feel I did this successfully. When looking at the Media Production Rate card, I gained a idea of how much everything would cost. (Cumoodle.com, 2012) I then had to think very critically in what I could realistically supply myself and what I need essential funding for. It was challenging but this module has helped me in creating a realistic budget for film. However, I could perhaps develop this skill even further by researching into the specifics of catering costs and travel expenses and get an exact figure rather than just allowing myself a half researched, estimated budget.

References

Bbc.co.uk, (2012). The killer pitch. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135669 [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Cumoodle.com, (2012). Coventry University Media Production Rate Card. [online] Available at: https://cumoodle.coventry.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/1147655/mod_resource/content/1/Media_Production_Rate_Card_201213.pdf [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].

Filmmakeriq.com, (2011). Top 25 Most Successful Kickstarter Film Pitches | FilmmakerIQ.com. [online] Available at: http://filmmakeriq.com/2011/06/top-25-most-successful-kickstarter-film-pitches/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Make Film Teach Film, (2012). Pitching your project -tips, hints and killer strategies. [online] Available at: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2012/09/pitching-your-project-tips-hints-and-killer-strategies-to-make-it-count-when-it-matters-most.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Make Film Teach Film, (2012). Ten simple ways to make your film pitch more effective. [online] Available at: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2012/05/ten-simple-ways-to-make-your-film-pitch-more-effective.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Nichols, B. (1991). Representing reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p.13.

Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p106,

Teenage Gangs of South London

Teenage Gangs of South London is a documentary about crime and the gangs involved in the south of London. It is presented by Ross Kemp and produced by Sky. Whilst this documentary does not explore the same themes I wish to, it does have some stylistic approaches when it comes to the content it produces. After analysing the documentary, I wish to take the following techniques into my own documentary:

  • Establishing shots when entering new locations

  • Lots of close ups during interviews to show emotion.

  • Shallow focus on subjects

  • Many different locations when conducting interviews, often unconventional (e.g. in a car)

  • Expert guests involved often

  • Very controversial questioning to create drama

The Age of Loneliness – BBC Documentary

The Age of Loneliness is a documentary produced by the BBC about dating in the modern era. It follows quite a few different participants throughout it and tells their stories about their dating life and their thoughts throughout. As I will be exploring similar themes within my documentary, I have gained an insight in how to present this theme. I have taken the following from the documentary and I aim to use these techniques myself:

  • Cut away shots during interviews to other relevant shots.

  • Shallow focus/close ups during interviews.

  • Establishing shots in new locations

  • Introduction about new documentary participants.

  • Lots of emotional scenes due to subject matter

  • Ends on an ending thought to leave a memory with the viewer.

  • Filler music used often

Festivals

I looked at a few festivals so I could market my film well. One festival that I plan to submit my documentary to is the London International Documentary Film Festival. I chose this film as it is a very popular festival and is search optimised, allowing my film to get even better coverage. It is £24 to enter a film that is under 40 minutes and £34 for a standard film. So, despite whether my documentary goes above or below this limit, it is very feasible for me to enter. Furthermore, the winner of each category will then be entered into consideration for the Annual Academy Awards, which would be fantastic.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 22.28.46

(lidf.co.uk, 2016)

I also looked at the Open City Documentary Festival, which is also held in London and has been running for 6 years so far. They run the festival over 6 days and vary the locations in London. They also have 44 different partners, which all would be very good and relevant contacts to be made. The entry price varies between £10-£30 for a student, depending on when you apply, making it very affordable.

logo

(Opencitylondon.com, 2016)

Another documentary I looked at was Sheffield Doc Fest. This festival would be very beneficial for me to enter as their main sponsors include ITV, BBC and Sky. Making contacts in any of these companies, or for them to at least be aware of my work would be massive for my personal professional development. To enter this festival, it costs £25.50+VAT for a short and £35+VAT for a feature. The entry fee will definitely be worth the potential contacts I could make.

logo-18378219a2eba6123814cd02ee37708f

(Sheffdocfest.com, 2016)

References

lidf.co.uk, (2016). London International Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: http://www.lidf.co.uk/ [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

Opencitylondon.com, (2016). Open City Documentary Festival | Open City Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: http://opencitylondon.com/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Sheffdocfest.com, (2016). Sheffield Doc/Fest: Sheffield International Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: https://sheffdocfest.com/ [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].

As I want to develop a branding for my documentary, I thought it was of my best interest to create a poster to give people a feel for it. I studied a couple of other posters and borrowed ideas from them to ensure mine was of a high standard.

I borrowed aspects from each of these two posters to help in making mine as professional as possible. From spOILed, I mainly looked to replicate a similar theme when it came to the credits as I feel this information is important to show well as often eyes aren’t drawn to it. Whereas, from Oceans, I looked to replicate the simplicity of the main image, as the subject matter is shown very clearly and doesn’t hold any unnecessary information.Modernmobiledating

Crew

Prior to decided which crew members I would require, I looked further into which individual roles exist and what these roles entail. I decided I want a very hands on approach throughout the production of my documentary, thus limiting the size of my documentary team to a quite small one. I would only require small help in each location in order to ensure the shoot goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, therefore not having excess baggage on shoot days.

I used this guide to further understand the roles in depth and to move along my decisions:

http://www.film.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/4897/Crew-Roles-and-Departments-Guide.pdf

For my production, I decided that these roles will be required:

  • Director
  • Producer
  • Director of Photography
  • Lighting Technician
  • Camera Operator x 2 (currently)
  • Sound Recordist
  • Stills Photographer
  • Editor

Many of these roles I will undertake myself. I will be the producer and director of my documentary for starters, so I have maximum creative/logistical control over the production. I also feel my editing skills are up to scratch so I will be undertaking the editing in the post production stage. I would probably be able to undertake the stills photography myself also. However, I will have to find camera operators in order to free myself to undertake this role on set. Also, I feel others will have more advanced skills in operating cameras than myself. As long as I impart on them what I need them to capture, I feel it can still match my artistic vision. I also need to find a sound operator. As I am going to be in many interview sessions, having the sound right is absolutely imperative in order to tell each story properly. Finally, a lighting technician I feel is also very important to the production in order to light up the subjects properly, as this is not a field in which I am well versed in.

 

My Participants

At the moment, I have two confirmed participants to star in my documentary. These include two males, one 20 and the other 21. These individuals have agreed to take part in the film at some capacity. Whether that will be the ‘a week in the life’ type segment or whether it will be general interviewing about their mobile dating experiences.

Guy Shalev – University of Lincoln – 20.

Sam Nelson – University of Leeds – 21

However, I am looking to get some more females participating to show both sides of mobile dating. I am looking to aim this documentary for the younger male audience, so I feel knowing the female perspective would be something that would intrigue them and so it’s something I will be looking into. Furthermore, I am actively searching for some older participants who are in their early thirties to give another interesting angle in the documentary.

 

Locations

My locations will be mainly in households. As I will be doing a lot of interviewing, it will be done at the comfort of their own homes mainly. As two of my participants go to university, I have done scouting of their homes to ensure that they are viable locations and have attached these pictures below to show that they will be aesthetically pleasing on camera:

However, as I will be doing an ‘a week in the life’ type of filming style for segments of the documentary, there will be a lot of on the fly filming in different locations depending on the person’s schedule. So, I will make sure I attain the correct distribution rights from the locations my subject(s) film in, in order to avoid any legal issues. Finally, I will be scouting studio locations for if i decide to have more formal segments.

Why I Chose The Documentary Format.

Initially, I had the idea to create a piece that would have been a narrative surrounding online dating that created strong emotion in the audience. However, I realised that this might not properly reflect the subject matter properly and I wanted to inform viewers best I could, so changing to a documentary would help this greatly.

When creating one of the artefacts in the first half of the module, about power and control, I got to thinking about modern relationships. This lead me to speaking to a few of my friends and asking how they got into the relationships they are/have been in recently. Interestingly, the majority of people I spoke to said they had had relations with a person from a mobile dating app recently. The fact that this is such a high percentage was intriguing to me and it sparked the idea of investigating this trend. I then decided to take this further after conducting research and finding that Tinder is 84% occupied by 16-34 year olds. I wanted to find out what makes it a viable option to the younger generation by asking questions to individuals and doing an “a week in the life” type thing with a couple of individuals to further explore this topic. Having had experiences myself in this topic, it gives me a good starting ground to know what to ask and show in my documentary.

(Globalwebindex.net, 2015)

When I realised that this was my demographic, I started seeing dozens upon dozens of people in this age group always on there phone, perhaps using dating apps or speaking to people they met on dating apps. There would be millions of stories to tell, some good and some bad. For what purpose were they on the apps? How many people have they spoke to? Have they ever dated somebody they met on there? What were their worst memories? This made me set on the idea of telling just a few of these stories and exploring people’s dating lives and this theme to the utmost. I aim to tell both negative and positive sides of these apps and explore the themes as naturally and as intriguing as possible.

References

Globalwebindex.net, (2015). What to Know About Tinder in 5 Charts. [online] Available at: http://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/what-to-know-about-tinder-in-5-charts [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].

Mobile Dating Articles

Telegraph Article

This is an article about how dating apps like Tinder are destroying romance. They claim that long term romance is being replaced by one night stands and these applications are to blaim. She compares the long grinding romances in Jane Austen novels to bored 21st century singletons who are looking for instant gratification through a few clicks. (Jamieson, 2015) In my documentary, I should look to answer whether this statement is true through asking and observing my contributors.

Catholic News Agency

Like the last article, this one claims a similar message of apps causing the death of romance. However, it should be considered that the article comes from a catholic website and their views will be based on their religious beliefs. The author makes claims that Tinder is a “seriously shallow app that turns people into quickly-judged commodities on a screen”. They then go on to speak to users about their experiences with Tinder. Responses included:

“How is me swiping right on a guy that I find attractive, and swiping left (on those) that I’m not that into any different than someone approaching a guy that I find attractive in a bar? We make snap judgements all the time. Why is it suddenly so much worse if I’m doing it online?” (Catholic News Agency, 2016)

“I think to immediately classify Tinder or any other dating app as a ‘hook-up’ app or as a very bad thing goes against the idea that things are morally neutral,” (Catholic News Agency, 2016)

Again, I should look to confirm or deny these claims through what I present of my contributors.

Business Insider Article

In this article, a man analyses the pros and cons for a range of dating apps from a male’s perspective. These offer a wide range of analysis through a number of apps that can be useful as brief information. (McAlone, 2016) I can use this information when interviewing my male contributors as it will give me the right idea what kind of questioning I should use in terms of what to focus on.

University of Washington Article

In this article it discusses student’s perceptions of dating apps. As I will be targeting my documentary to a younger audience, these documented perceptions are very useful in the creation of my media piece. Inputs include:

“It’s weird where I met him [on Tinder] and I do not tell people where I met him,” (Salgado, 2015)

Showing that perhaps these dating apps are seen as a taboo. I should definitely try and work this into my line of questioning as I feel that this question is very much worth answering and should be interesting for the audience to hear.

BuzzFeed Article

This article speaks about how 5,000 users had their information leaked from a HIV positive dating app. These incidents seem prevalent online, with this incident coming within months of the infamous Ashley Maddison leak. (BuzzFeed, 2016) So, I must consider how security of personal information affects how users interact with their applications by perhaps asking it as part of the questioning.

References

BuzzFeed, (2016). A HIV-Positive Dating App Leaked 5,000 Users’ Data. [online] Available at: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemlee/a-dating-app-for-hiv-positive-people-leaked-sensitive-data [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

Catholic News Agency, (2016). Dating apps and the death of romance. [online] Available at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/dating-apps-and-the-death-of-romance-71932 [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

Jamieson, S. (2015). Dr Lucy Worsley: dating apps like Tinder are destroying the art of romance. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11915040/Dr-Lucy-Worsley-dating-apps-like-Tinder-are-destroying-the-art-of-romance.html [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

McAlone, N. (2016). I reviewed every major dating app from a guy’s perspective — here’s what they were like. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/best-dating-app-for-guys-2015-12?r=US&IR=T [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

Salgado, R. (2015). Swiping right: Student perceptions of dating apps. [online] thedailyuw.com. Available at: http://www.dailyuw.com/features/article_b447fbea-b36e-11e5-bb8a-7f7cb7f566e2.html [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

Tutorial Record

I have recently had a tutorial about my current progress in the module and my professional development. Throughout the tutorial we discussed the good and bad parts of what I was doing so far. This was vastly helpful in being critical and reflecting on my own progress.

364MC Tutorial Preparation Document-1 364MC Tutorial Preparation Document-2 364MC Tutorial Preparation Document-3When discussing my personal research, whilst my secondary research is pleasing for this stage, the primary research leaves a lot to be desired. I was told that secondary research is very important, it only gives you an idea of actions to take from others experiences. With primary research you are able to cater the knowledge to fit your own personal needs. So, as a result, I will be trying to undertake more first hand research, like shadowing editors or even just speaking to them personally. It helps that I have already targeted individuals but it’s now a matter of speaking to them. Another aspect to this is to join online networks, whilst it provides a primary research method, it also allows me to build up a professional network. This is something I need to do imperatively. The online networks I have listed I have been told are very worthwhile and it’s just a matter of engaging in them.

Going forward, I will be ensuring I round myself more as a professional, engaging in networks, undertaking more research and speaking to other professionals in my chosen career path.

Update

Since this tutorial I have made a conscious effort to engage in more professional networks, joining those I have listed above and searching for more physical networks I can be a part of. I have also spoken to the majority of the professionals on my list and it has been a great help in furthering my understanding of the profession. Both of these experiences have helped in gaining more first hand experience opportunities.

 

 

Creative Analysis

In my artefact, POWER & CONTROL, I undertook a piece on the lines between power and control and tried to convey a type of power relation and the reasoning of how that power relation was in place. I wanted the piece to be a take on abuse in relationships and how believing somebody’s excuses for their inexcusable behaviour is giving them power over you and allowing them to control you.

One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute and on average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. (Womensaid.org.uk, 2015) This is a disgustingly high statistic about disgusting actions by disgusting people. I was inspired to create this artefact through the desired outcome of creating an emotional piece that raised awareness and got a discussion going about domestic abuse.

I developed this idea through research of the topic and developing it, then placing that research into practice. “If you do your research well, you will reduce the risk of making a serious mistake.” (Rea and Irving, 1995). I tried my best to reduce the risk of making a serious mistake by doing diligent research. For example, I got ideas for the female character’s speech through first hand research of speaking to someone who had been abused and through researching domestic abuse websites. So, then when I developed this idea by personifying these words into actions in front of the camera, I had very low risk of creating bad dialogue. However, I could have perhaps improved it by using actual victims/perpetrators of abuse rather than actors. “the cv/direct technology/technique seems to offer an ultimate possibility of show-and-tell– of telling a real story…. rather than sitting back and creating it from remembered experience and imagination… cv/direct is closer to life than art. That it can seem unselected, formless, dull – a mere record” (Ellis and McLane, 2005). From this, we can see that it would have improved the piece if we told the real story from the real people rather than just recalling it through vessels in the form of actos for our research and imagination.

First hand, I spoke to a friend who had been a victim of domestic abuse. She spoke about how she tolerated his behaviour and constantly came up with excuses for his actions because of the low self esteem he had created within her by acting this way towards her. I tried to convey this as accurately as possible within the media product by giving the female character traits which showed she wasn’t very confident such as looking away and taking pauses in speech. Also, the dialogue I decided to use is all very similar to answers she gave to the questions I asked. (Aidan Reilly YEAR 3, 2015). I tried to place all the dialogue into situations in which they would be applicable. However, I perhaps should have spoke to her in more depth to understand the specific situations she faced in order to more accurately represent an abusive relationship.

I went on a few websites that specialised in domestic abuse. Specifically, I looked for what excuses and reasonings abusers, and people who were being abused, generally give and how abusers act. I visited verbalabusejournals.com (verbalabusejournals.com, 2015) and loveisrespect.org (loveisrespect.com, 2015). All the information on the websites was collated from the victims of abuse. This second hand information was very important and helpful in creating dialogue. This is because we can know that these words have legitimately been spoken in the situation I was creating. Therefore, I could develop the situations I was creating to be more accurate and powerful.

I would consider this media piece to fall under an unique avant-garde genre. “avant-garde wants to bring art down to the banal level of everyday life and popular culture.” (Graf and Scheunemann, 2007) I can see that my artefact sits in this genre as it brings the art of film and the love in relationships down to the banal level of everyday life through the grim subject matter and the use of the dark, evil, red lighting. However, I could have perhaps done this even better by deconstructing the film framework and having actual confrontation on screen midway through, breaking out of the interview structure and into “real life”.

My artefact has the form of representing reality. “Representing reality deals with meaning meanings and values, interpretations and purposes, not simply with signs and systems“. (Nichols, 1991) So, I had to think about the implications of what I was creating and how everyone would interpret what I was producing. I had to ensure that it was very black and white and have all the signs and systems pointing towards the same end goal. However, I could have perhaps represented reality better by adding in a slight bit of neorealism. “Neorealism not only provides a repertoire of techniques for giving the formal effect of representing a reality that evades the control of the filmmaker… it also lapses back toward the very conventions at an overall level that it avoids at a local one” (Nichols, 1991). By leaning towards neorealism, it could ground the film more towards the real world, thus becoming more of a believable piece that could greater elicit emotion in the audience.

I learnt a lot from the primary research of speaking to a person who had suffered domestic abuse. When talking to somebody who has experienced  what you are trying to convey, it greatly helps in embodying that successfully on screen. I could speak to her in depth about her personal actions/experiences and put those directly into the character/story on screen. This helped in creating a more accurate and moving artefact, more so than I have been able to before without such hands-on research.

References

Aidan Reilly YEAR 3, (2015). Artefact 3 – Primary Research. [online] Available at: https://aidanreillyyr3.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/artefact-3-primary-research/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2015].

Ellis, J. and McLane, B. (2005). A new history of documentary film. New York: Continuum. p.224.

Graf, A. and Scheunemann, D. (2007). Avant-garde film. Amsterdam: Rodopi. p.267.

Nichols, B. (1991). Representing reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p.13. p169.

Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p.106.

Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, (2015). Things Abusers Say And Do. [online] Available at: http://verbalabusejournals.com/about-abuse/things-abusers-say-do/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Womensaid.org.uk, (2015). Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic_violence_topic.asp?section=0001000100220036 [Accessed 19 Nov. 2015].

http://www.loveisrespect.org, (2015). Apologies and Excuses –http://www.loveisrespect.org. [online] Available at:http://www.loveisrespect.org/content/apologies-and-excuses/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].

Reflective Report

Where did you find inspiration to progress yourself? –

Robert Wise once said: “My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker“. (BrainyQuote, 2015) This quote is perhaps the most helpful piece of advice you could give to aspiring filmmakers as everything else comes second. As long as you have passion for your subject, patience to wait for success and perseverance for when success isn’t thrust upon you and you have to thrust yourself into success, you can make it. I have tried my utmost to apply this drive and work ethic in my life ever since I was inspired by this quote and it has definitely improved my progression as a media producer.

What skill or knowledge have you developed? –

Over the course of this module, I have found myself expanding my horizon by further indulging myself in more accurate and thorough research and development of my ideas. “If you do your research well, you will reduce the risk of making a serious mistake.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) By applying this idea I have found that when I produced a media product I had a more clear and concise idea of the subject I was conveying, how to produce a piece in the selected genre and how to effectively create emotion in the audience. This can be seen through the comedy in artefact 1 and the sadness in artefact 3.

How did you challenge yourself? –

Within the artefacts we have produced, I attempted to challenge myself by tackling new genres and trying my best to create emotion in the audience that would be watching them, whether that be empathy, sadness or laughter. For example, in artefact 3, I tried my hardest to engage my audience through empathy. “If we then empathize with that character, this activates the emotional experiences that correspond to the cognitive script”. (Smith, 2003) I created empathy by creating two binary opposites in the one who controls and the one being controlled. I tried to make this distinction as obvious and painstaking as possible to ensure the audience can follow the cognitive script.

What would you do better? –

First element I would improve in my work is greater preparation for shooting. For example, I would conduct more thorough locations scouting to ensure that I have the best location possible and that all the environment in the location has been accounted for, so that on the day of production, it all goes very smoothly. “The goal is to find places that represent the words on the page. You must find a balance between your aesthetic concerns and your physical limitations.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) For example, when shooting for artefact 1, whilst we wanted it to be shot in a house, we perhaps could have used a better suited house in terms of space for camera equipment. Or, we could have scouted the location more thoroughly and used more suited equipment.

How can you develop your work further? – 

I would try and market my work to a wider audience. This could be done through more thorough research into viral marketing. “Marketing means promoting what is best about your work, giving buyers a reason to want to own it or rent it.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) For example, for artefact 3, I could have perhaps contacted domestic abuse websites/organisations to see if they wanted to display my work to help further show the signs and excuses of domestic abuse. Also, I could have perhaps further researched into how to engage an audience and what makes an item sharable and applied it to my work.

References

BrainyQuote, (2015). Robert Wise Quotes at BrainyQuote.com. [online] Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertwise187099.html [Accessed 14 Nov. 2015].

Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p106, p141, p361,

Smith, G. (2003). Film structure and the emotion system. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p76.

305MC Essay Plan

Essay question: Choose a current issue/debate/controversy and analyze how it is informed and determined by power, spectacle and memory within contemporary mediated culture. (3,000-3,500 words)

Topic:

Madeleine Mccann

Date of event:

3 May 2007 (Date of disappearance) – Investigation still ongoing.

Key Facts

  • disappeared on the evening of 3 May 2007 from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal, sparking what one newspaper called “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history.”(Telegraph.co.uk, 2008)
  • January 29, 2009, it is reported that nearly £2 million was raised for the official fund to find Madeleine in the first 10 months after she went missing, Companies House accounts show. (ITV News, 2014)
  • May 12 – Mrs McCann publishes a book about her daughter’s disappearance on Madeleine’s eighth birthday. Scotland Yard launches a review of the case after a request from Home Secretary Theresa May supported by Prime Minister David Cameron. (ITV News, 2014)

The Spectacle and the carnival

“It is material , it degrades the abstract and the ideal and celebrates the body and the life of the people” – Bakhtin on the carnival

 A spectacle is something you watch, not something you take part in.

We are going to apply these ideas to the Madeleine Mccann case.

Emotion

A spectacle is something big and impressive. Spectacle impresses us. In sporting events we are emotionally invested in them. This is applicable to the Madeline Mccann case as due to the media coverage a lot of us are emotionally invested in it.

Authenticity

Sometimes the spectacle is something we know to be false. We know the match is fixed but we still engage.- Roland Barthes

The spectacle is not a collection of images it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images” – Guy Debord

This will be applied to the Madeleine Mccann case by discussing whether the media representations and the relations they have formed with the audience are the whole truth.

 Spectacle lodges in the memory

It is distinctive, it is out of the ordinary, it is different from everyday life. This is specifically applicable to the Mccann case, hence the attention brought to it. I will further explore how this spectacle lodges in the memory.

 Spectacle and Theatre

Theatre engages the mind then the emotion, spectacle engages emotion and overrides the mind.

I will be looking at the Mccann case in terms of Aristotle’s poetics: Tragedy, pity and fear, catharsis, purging/discharge of negative emotion

Discourse

The power relations amongst these following elements will be explored in how they make sense, knowledge and truth: Meanings and metaphors, representations, social practices, material circumstances, forms of subjectivities

We will see how these discourses shape, determine, and produce reality.

Power

Discourse allows and limits topics to be constructed in a certain fashion.

Who says what to whom, when, how, why and to what effect?” – Stuart Hall

Introduction

The introduction will introduce the issue in the news I will be discussing as well as a brief introduction into  what the rest of the essay will be about.

Paragraph 1

  • Introduce the story which I will be discussing briefly.
  • Outline the narrative of events

Paragraph 2

  • Speak about the facts of the disappearance.
  • How was the story presented to the public and why.
  • Speak about the reactions to the story

Paragraph 3

Introduce the meanings of Power, Spectacle and memory.

Paragraph 4 

  • Speak of how power, the spectacle and memory works in compliance with the modern media’s coverage on this issue.

Paragraph 5

  • Perform a critical evaluation
  • Draw a conclusion on the issue due to the information presented.

References

ITV News, (2014). 2007-2014 timeline of events in search for Madeleine McCann. [online] Available at: http://www.itv.com/news/central/2014-05-08/2007-2014-timeline-of-events-in-search-for-madeleine-mccann/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2015].

Telegraph.co.uk, (2008). Master of media circus for Madeleine McCann. [online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1902515/Master-of-media-circus-for-Madeleine-McCann.html [Accessed 13 Nov. 2015].

Michel Foucault – The Subject and Power

Michel Foucault – Sara Mills

Owen Jones – Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

Imogen Tyler

Artifact 3 Script

Here are the full list of phrases which the male will have to say and the females excuses in turn. These will hopefully effectively convey how the power/control is given and taken in this relationship/relationships with abuse in them.

Male: She’s a stupid bitch that needs to know her place.

Female: He only says these things because he grew up in a violent home, he doesn’t know any better.

Male: She needs to get the fuck out of my house and my life if she doesn’t change her ways

Female: He doesn’t mean it, he’s only saying it because he is drunk. He says this stuff all the time when he is drunk or using.

Male: She needs to sort her life out and stop sponging off me, she’s a good for nothing with no job who’s lucky to have me.

Female: He only says these things because he cares about me and wants me to do well in life.

Male: She should just do what her whore mother did by leaving her father and leave me already. You can tell she wants to.

Female: He said sorry. It’s fine. He said he won’t ever do it again.

Male: She should just stuff her stupid feelings up inside and not let them ruin everything all the fucking time.

Female: It’s okay. He has depression. I’m helping him. I need to accept who he is.

Male: Maybe if she learns her place I wouldn’t need to show it to her.

Female: I made him angry. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t make him angry.

 

 

Artifact 3 Research For Script.

In artifact 3, we are going to be doing a piece about power/control and that has been interpreted into using it to show abuse in relationships. The video is going to show powerful images of people speaking about general actions that entail abuse and then excuses. This will be overlayed with powerful and simple imagery of them speaking, to not draw away from the main message.

I did some research into what abusers generally say/excuses they generally give after giving said abuse.

“I’m sorry. I won’t ever do that again…”

“I was drunk/I was using drugs.”

“I act this way because I care about you.”

“You made me mad/provoked me, and I had no other choice. I can’t control it.”

“I have a mental illness or a personality disorder — ex. I’m bipolar, I have PTSD.”

“I grew up in a violent home where I experienced or witnessed abuse.”

(www.loveisrespect.org, 2015)

We are going to flip this around and have the abusee giving these excuses to highlight the power that they are giving the abuser by accepting what they are saying.

For example, a line we are giving is “I made him angry, it was my fault. I should know my place. I gave him no other choice. He can’t control what he does if I make him angry.”

I then did some further research into what generally an abuser would say categorically:

Name Calling

  • Idiot, Stupid Cunt, Go sit in the corner where you belong (dunce)
  • Crazy Bitch, Psycho

Intimacy Breakers

  • “It is none of your fucking business.”
  • “Why don’t you fucking leave?” or “Get the fuck out of my house.”

Tells You What You’re Doing (But Is Incorrect)

  • “Yes, why don’t you stuff your feelings inside.”
  • “You’ve got your priorities screwed up.”

Plays Word Games

  • Interrupts you when you’re talking.
  • Repeats “your exact words” but takes them out of context or makes up something that you did not say or mean.

Tries to Appear Better Than You

  • “You have no money; without me you’d be lost.”
  • “At least I have a job.”.

Insults People And Pets You Love

  • “Why don’t you leave, have your geriatric dog leave too and I hope he falls dead.”
  • “Your mother left your dad to chase cock and you’re going to do the same to me!”

Sexual Insults And Injuries

  • Makes you wear revealing clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • “You were just a good fuck.”

Insults Your Ideas and Dreams

  • The churches, restaurants, movies, etc. that you choose are not good enough.
  • Your career interests are “fluffy” or not real jobs.

Threatens Or Intimidates You

  • “Maybe I should just do pot, porn and date other woman and then maybe you will leave me.”
  • “I should run you through the wood chipper out there!”

(Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, 2015)

We are going to have the antagonist say something similar to these phrases they have given as examples mixed with the responses given in the primary research. Then have the protagonist give an excuse for their actions, showing the power and subsequent control they are giving the abuser. For example:

Antagonist: “She’d be fucking nothing without me, she doesn’t have a job, she’s a waste of fucking space.”

Protagonist: “He was just saying it because he cares about me. He wants me to do well.

References

Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, (2015). Things Abusers Say And Do. [online] Available at: http://verbalabusejournals.com/about-abuse/things-abusers-say-do/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

http://www.loveisrespect.org, (2015). Apologies and Excuses – http://www.loveisrespect.org. [online] Available at: http://www.loveisrespect.org/content/apologies-and-excuses/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].

Artifact 3 Research and Development

What defines the line between them?  –

Power is earned on a daily basis. Control is taken. Power is freely given by those who believe in you. Control is needed only when they do not. (Nationmultimedia.com, 2007). This implies that people who exercise control are exercising their power as the other involved party do not believe it them.  As the other party does not believe in them enough to give them power they must use their own power in the form of control.

When does one become the other? –

Power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. Whereas, control is the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events or to determine the behaviour or supervise the running of. These two things can become each other when they are not being exercised. Zimmerling speaks of Kristjansson and his views on having power and exercising that power as control. He says that “‘having power over’ cannot be the ability on which ‘exercising power over’ is based, for having power over is ‘here’ not a capacity at all” (Zimmerling, 2005). This in turn means that power turns into control when it is exercised over somebody.

Who decides? – 

It is commonly observed that person X dominates Y, while being subservient in relations with Z. Furthermore, these power relations are frequently intransitive!” (Emerson, 1962) So, as we can see, the power relations are decided by the people within them and who wants to be in control/have power over or be subservient to the other. With people and their power relations being intransitive it means it really depends on the individuals and who/what they wish to give power to and who/what they want to take control over.

How are our lives affected by these concepts/how does your cultural, religious, political background influence you and others around you? – 

“Generally, it can be said that there are three types of struggles: either against forms of domination (ethnic, social, and religious); against forms of exploitation which separate individuals from what they produce; or against that which ties the individual to himself and submits him to others in this way (struggles against subjection, against forms of subjectivity and submission).” (The Subject and Power, 1982) These are all the forms of power struggles. These are the ways in which power relations can be formed. Depending on your placing in these specific fields, you can have a different standing in your power relations with others. Purnell has said “It has become very much a closed shop… this middle class power grab was the result of a political system that has become closed to the ordinary people” (Jones, 2011) So, this leads us to believe that power, at least politically and religiously, is closed off for the ordinary people and the control is had over them.

References

Emerson, R. (1962). Power-Dependence Relations. American Sociological Review, 27(1), p.31.

Jones, O. (2011). Chavs. London: Verso. p.105.

Nationmultimedia.com, (2007). Bangkok’s Independent Newspaper. [online] Available at: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/11/26/rookie/rookie_30057429.php [Accessed 2 Nov. 2015].

The Subject and Power. (1982). Critical Enquiry, 8(4), p.781.

Zimmerling, R. (2005). Influence and power. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. p225

Artefact 3 – Primary Research

To undertake my primary research, I spoke to a friend of mine who was the subject of domestic abuse. Here are the questions I asked her and the responses I received:

Why do you think he abused you?

I think he thought it was a way he could stay with me. He felt if he didn’t have absolute control over me then I would leave him. He was obsessed with the fact I would leave him or be unfaithful.

Why did you put up with it?

I was scared. He threatened me if I left that I would regret it. I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant but the way he said it made sure I knew it’d be bad. He ground down my self esteem and I felt I didn’t deserve any better…

Did he ever apologise for his actions?

Yes. Pretty much every time. He made me feel every time like it was going to be different. That he wouldn’t act that way again.

What were the excuses he gave for his abuse?

He said it was because he came from a broken home and he didn’t know any better. I know his upbringing was tough so I tried to help him through it. He had anger issues and he would take it out on me. I tried to help but I think I just made it worse.

How did he work down your self esteem?

He just constantly found negatives in everything I did. No matter what I did, there was always something wrong. I just didn’t know how to act and what to do.

Artefact 2 Script

Beauty, what is it and are there ideals that are accepted universally?

Out of people surveyed, asking for their opinions on beauty and what it is, answers seemed to lean towards beauty being something that is natural and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s intriguing that no one suggested that beauty is constructed or manufactured, everyone suggested things like the grace of an athlete, passion filled music and something that evokes a strong emotion. Nobody mentioned anything about beauty within the media and its portrayal of the perfect body, face or anything stereotypically paraded across the tabloids.

In an investigation into the social media app Instagram, predominantly used for photo and video sharing allowing users to take and edit items it became clear that the app can and has been used to glamorise just about anything, be it nature, food, clothing, depression, violence, eating disorders, make up, travelling animals, you name it and it is probably on there, within reason of course as the app is regulated so graphically explicit images would be taken down by members of staff.

Despite users having the ability of filter options and editing powers on their pictures more recently there appears a big community of instagram users have a new thirst for more genuine content, with the hashtag beauty having more that 84,000,000 posts and nofilter having over 140,000,000 posts. nofilter shows how we want to separate what’s real from what’s artificial. It’s sort of a truth-telling mechanism. The way we’re able to manipulate things now means if something is authentic, it’s more meaningful however it should be stated that more than 7% of images with the nofilter hashtag actually have a filter, this suggests that maybe people do have a common consensus on beauty and that they want their images to appear to be pure, natural and unedited as it would seem to be what people would be more interested in and drawn to.

Anon. (2013) On Instagram, #nofilter Is Just Another Filter [online] available from <http://www.bigspaceship.com/instagram-nofilter/&gt;
Wong, A., Petrovic, D., and McGonagill, R. (2015) ‘Busbud Partners with Peter Pan Bus Lines.’ [7 November 2015] available from <https://www.busbud.com/blog/exposing-the-nofilter-movement/&gt;

Remaking A Spectacle For Society

 

Guy Debord’s film was the subject for scrutiny this week, with a remake being undertaken by everyone in our seminar group. We were each given a 4 minute section to recreate, this being our section:

The first section showed images of war and showed soldiers engaged in battle. I wanted to mirror this section to show the continuity over time and how war is still a very large part of our society even if it isn’t quite as prominent as latter days. This was done by adding in images of an army preparing for war rather than engaging in battle.

The next section just had writing. Whilst it is assumed that the text on the screen was the same as the subtitles, we decided to translate it. The text actually uncovered some added meanings to the film so the decision was made to add the literal translation into the remake as an image to further compliment the message.

The next images we saw in the original were images of beauty shown in the media. The voiceover speaks of memory and how art makes the world seem a much more beautiful place. So, we added in 70’s iconic and beautiful women as an overlay to match the theme of outward facing beauty in the media. We felt this was the most effective way to convey the message.

We then see a scene in which a man and his wife are speaking to each other about their issues. The main message we took from that scene was reliance on external substances to fix an issue. We thought we would drill in this idea by using images from an LSD study and overlaying the subtitles from the original scene which were oddly fitting. I feel this effectively conveyed the underlying theme we found in the original scene.

Then, at the end we used images from the Royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William as Debord was speaking about specialists of power of the spectacle. We thought the Royal Family in particular fitting this criteria to a tee.

 

Here is the original film in it’s entirety, the section of our remake was the 12-16 minute marks.

 

FML – Artifact 1

After production and post production, I feel like this is a good start but quite a distance away from reaching its full comedic, cinematic and audio potential. I feel with certain remakes this could be a very entertaining and cinematically sound piece.

My main gripe about the production is the sound. We used an attached rode mic to the camera which created certain inconsistencies in audio quality. Whilst it picked up the dialogue to an acceptable level, it picked up a certain level of background noise which was unacceptable. Also, some pieces of audio had to be added in post production due to them not being picked up in production, which felt sometimes jarring. Furthermore, in our script we created a framework for dialogue but allowed a lot of improvisation to allow for more natural flowing dialogue. However, this made it hard to cut the conversation together as often the two different shots had dialogue which was too dissimilar. So, next time we should perhaps create a tighter framework for dialogue to make it easier in post.

Cinematically, we had different ideas. In the storyboard we used a lot of tracking shots. However, when on location we found this was not feasible due to physical restraints of space. Next time we should do more diligent  in our location scouting so we can plan in advance accurately and not waste time on the day improvising.

Furthermore, the shots often varied in colours and lightness due to the changing of rooms and daylight. To prevent this from becoming an issue next time we should aim to plan our shooting around a time in which we would have the most consistent daylight and check our shots more diligently to ensure they match to the best of our abilities. This will ensure that the post production is more of a matter of polishing a diamond rather than a turd. (so to speak)

 

What is Beauty Survey Research

To start off task two, we decided to undergo some initial research into beauty via a survey. We asked for their opinions on what they thought beauty meant, what they found beautiful and what they found unattractive and repulsive. Of the responses we have received, here are 5 responses for each category. The responses are mixed between male and female for each question, with the two age ranges 18-29 and 30-44.

When you hear the word beauty, what does it mean to you?

  • In its literal sense it’s describing something that’s aesthetically pleasing. Emotionally I’d say it means something makes me smile whenever I see it. I’m forever in awe of it. I gravitate towards it.
  • Something that evokes strong emotions of awe. It’s a word that describes the almost undescribable.
  • Something natural that is aesthetically pleasing to one or more person.
  • It means pure truth.
  • It’s subjective everyone has a different version of what they class as beauty

What do you think is beautiful?

  • Handsome people, exciting natural scenery. Wild animals, well-written music.
  • Everything above us is beautiful, the sky, clouds and stars. Certain songs and sounds like rain or a crackling fire. I think it’s beautiful when someone is really passionate about something, to see their eyes light up when they talk about it.
  • From the allure of nature, sitting under the stars or a picturesque view of the countryside, to even the majestic flair of an elite sportsman/woman that does the unexpected with precision and grace, beauty is caught in the moment and knows no boundaries. Music with emotion is beautiful to hear, also poetry that sums up an event or emotion without caution and allows the listener a clear view into the thought process at that exact time.
  • Absolute truth, raw emotion and seeing something/someone absolutely bare and honest.
  • Completely silent times with nature, wonderful minded people and passion.

What do the words repulsive/unattractiveness/inelegance mean to you?

  • Upsetting stimulus to the major senses, ie, nose, eyes, ears.
  • It has several meanings but opposite to beauty and attract; repulsive always reminds me of poison. It can be used to describe someone with malevolent intentions or something that literally makes me feel worse. I make an effort to avoid it.
  • Something I try not to see often. I try to find beauty in repulsion.
  • Something that I couldn’t use. I’ll never use it to describe a person
  • The absence of beauty in one person’s subjective opinion.

What do you think is repulsive?

  • Pollution, human rights abuse. Screaming.
  • I think it’s a lot easier to be repulsed by something than it is to see the beauty in it. I find certain smells to be repulsive. A persons behaviour. Some food looks repulsive to me, either in its quantity or combinations. Various insects.
  • It could be something such as someone with poor manners -eating with mouths open. Or to me corporatism is Repulsive, watching the rich get richer at the expense of the world’s most vulnerable people. Hearing people are treated with total lack of respect.
  • To see a bad situation in which you can do nothing to improve.
  • Lack of empathy. Lack of basic human emotions which make us a higher species.

Artifact 2: Beauty Research.

By definition, beauty is described as “A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight” (Oxford Dictionary 2015). I began undertaking this research by considering and asking myself and others what they considered to be beautiful. It is difficult to put a name on what beauty is, as many say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When surveying people, we noticed a trend in people leaning towards the idea that beauty is something that is natural rather than something you can construct. People seemed to believe that beauty is truth and that beauty evokes strong emotions. The main point of surprise for me is that nobody came up with the answer or lead us to believe that they thought beauty could be manufactured. People leant towards what was beautiful to them and lead their opinions from a very emotional standpoint. They would say they found the careless nature beautiful as an example. Nobody seemed to lead with the point that they agree with, or have an as an ideal, these media ideals of the perfect image we see across the newspapers, magazines and social media daily.

We wanted to investigate the social media app, Instagram, to see how beauty is perceived on this platform. Instagram is an online social media platform which allows users to upload and edit photos and videos to share with their followers and a wider audience through hashtags and their discover page. I have been using this app for nearing 3 years and during that time I have noticed how instagram seems to in itself glamourise everything from people to nature and food. In itself, #beauty has more than 84,000,000 posts and #nofilter has over 140,000,000 posts, leading us to believe that natural beauty is very prevalent within the app. This falls in line with our primary research where the people interviewed answered that beauty was natural. However, when looking at these hashtags, we can see that many of the pictures, if not the majority, actually do have a filter on them. This leads us to believe that outwardly facing we show something as naturally beauty, when it is actually manufactured.   Why do we try and uphold our images to an unrealistic standard whilst still trying to maintain the natural integrity of these images? Perhaps it is because of unrealistic images fed to us by brands.

(Jenn’s Trends, 2014)

From this graph we can see that it is staggering quite the percentage of companies who adopt the social media platform. Not only that, they harbour a massive audience.

(Lindig, 2015)

This leads us to believe that they are massive opinion leaders, the image they give out to the world is strived to achieve. Thus we see flocks of people trying to effortlessly copy this look in the way it is portrayed; as natural and beautiful as possible.

Sometimes in glamorizes darker subjects such as depression and self harm “The glamorization of self-harm and suicide on social media websites (such as Tumblr and Instagram) has led to an incorrect perspective of the seriousness of these disorders, as well as the desire to “fit in”, which is then triggering these tendencies in many susceptible users” (Storify, 2015). With people posting these disorders on Instagram and receiving moral support it is leading them to believe that self harm and depression is a way to fit in and that it is a beautiful thing. Thus, numbing quite how serious disorders such as these are.

So, in my piece I can discuss how many people believe beauty to be natural and how it is perhaps manufactured through the actions of people and corporations putting images out there to be admired and then replicated due to perceived social gratification.

References

Jenn’s Trends, (2014). Instagram Statistics for 2014 – Jenn’s Trends. [online] Available at: http://www.jennstrends.com/instagram-statistics-for-2014/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2015].

Lindig, S. (2015). The 20 Most Relevant Fashion Brands on Instagram. [online] Harper’s BAZAAR. Available at: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/designers/a12215/top-20-fashion-brands-on-instagram/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2015].

Oxford Dictionary (2015) Beauty [Online] Available from:http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/beauty [24 October 2015]

Storify, (2015). “Beautiful Sadness”: The Internet’s Romanticism of Self-Harm (with images, tweets) · rachelegore. [online] Available at: https://storify.com/rachelegore/the-internet-s-romanticism-of-self-harm [Accessed 20 Nov. 2015].

Flash Fiction Script

After generating the flash fiction idea, we developed a script for shooting.

Summary:

He’s waiting for someone to arrive.

She is outside by her car.

He goes down to meet her and get his stuff.

She jokes with him for a minute and then he opens the boot.

He is shocked and angry.

The boot is full of fruit. He asks why

She reads the text he sent her listing all the slang/fruit names for the drugs he wanted.

End

Nathan stared at the clock on his phone, watching as each minute passed by, each minute that meant she was late. He was getting impatient, tapping his feet and banging his phone on the desk. He was just about to text her when, ‘beep’ a horn sounded from outside.

It startled him. He stood and moved towards the window. Seeing that it was her, leaning against her car with a big grin on her face, he rushed outside to meet her.

“Where the hell have you been?”

“Just be grateful that I wasted my time with your petty request.”

They stared at each other for a second before the grin replaced her dismay at his tone.

“Where is it?”

“In the boot.”

He glanced at the rear end of the car, about to move when she dangled the keys in front of his face. His hand shot towards them but he was still to slow. She laughed, “Can’t want it that much.”

He made a grab for it again but missed, “Stop messing around now, this is serious.” He was pissed off. The smile dropped from her face as she threw the keys at him.

They went to the boot. Nathan gave a glance round to see if anyone was watching, before he put the key in and opened it halfway.

She couldn’t see his face; he’d leaned to far in.

He let the boot open all the way and turned to her, “What the hell is this?”

“I know it’s not in a bag, but they’re 5p now don’t you know?”

“This is a joke, this isn’t what I asked for, you know what I asked for, seriously, where is it.”

“This is everything you asked for Nathan, look at the text.”

She showed him the text she’d received, which she had clearly gotten mixed up!

He slammed the boot shut and stormed back inside.

“Yeah all that was about £20, pay me later yeah?”

His door slams.

Storyboard:

IMG_0265IMG_0268

Flash Fiction Idea

As a media producer, ideas are supposed to be bread and butter to us. But ask someone to write a script on the spot without stopping and the narrative becomes diluted and without proper structure. However, ideas flow out of your fingers that you never thought you had. It is then a matter of sieving through these ideas and adding structure.

As a group, we analysed our ideas and came up with an idea based on this two images:

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 10.45.04We were excited about using this first image as it could lead to many different narrative points and left us with a many different ways in which we could create an intriguing story around the image and how the characters got to that frame.

IMG_0310When looking for creative inspiration, the first place you look into your own lives, whether that is literal or the society around you that you often see and perhaps are affected by. One thing we have experienced as a group, not necessarily first hand, is drug culture.

Our second image is this message, received by a friend, from a drug dealer. We decided to incorporate this image into our story due to the slang used in the message. Blue cheese? To most people this wouldn’t initially stand out to them as a drug reference.

When undertaking further research, it became apparent that a number of drugs had nicknames which correlated with food names:

Cocaine – Sugar, Depressants – M&M’s, Heroin – Brown Sugar, Marijuana – Herbs, Mescaline – Beans, MDMA – Disco Biscuits, Opium – Chocolate. Psilocin – Mushrooms. (Staff, 2007)

So, our idea was to play on the fact of people’s lack of knowledge and portray one character as someone who was very aware of the drug culture and another who is hopelessly unaware, mixing up the others drug orders for groceries.

To create comedy around the idea we want to be able to hint at it all throughout through confusion in dialogue and suggestive cinematics. This will be done by giving the audience suggestions by the actor imitating drug takers habits through actions and dialogue. When undertaking research, we found out that anger, paranoia, suspicious behaviour, mood swings and life revolving around drug taking are all common signs of drug addicts. (Narconon – Addiction and Recovery, 2015) (Helpguide.org, 2015)All of these we aim to personify in our actor. This will give the audience the maximum chance of understanding the underlying drug theme without explicitly saying it. Hopefully having the other actors confusion conflicting with the main actors drug obsession and then, at the end, having a grand reveal of the groceries it will be a very gratifying and comedic ending.

To fully be able to create an artifact of the highest quality, we must do some further research into the comedy genre. “There is no single adequate theory of comedy, despite various efforts to produce an all-embracing account. Various different theoretical approaches are available and of differing degrees of use, depending on the precise nature of the comedy involved in any individual case and the different questions we might seek to answer.” (King, 2002). So, we must identify the topic we are trying to tackle so we know what type of comedic approach to take. Whilst we are tackling a topic of drugs, we can repurpose what is not generally seen as a comedic topic to be funny. “Material not intended to be in the realm of comedy can also be re-purposed to comical or partially comical effect…. in a manner that renders it to be absurd”. (King, 2002). So, by making this topic absolutely absurd we can create comedy rather than the usual dramatic sense that drugs are usually seen in.

References

King, G. (2002). Film comedy. London: Wallflower Press. p.5. p.200-201.

Staff, C. (2007). Top 20 Drugs And Their Street Names. [online] Casa Palmera. Available at: https://casapalmera.com/top-20-drugs-and-their-street-names/ [Accessed 24 Oct. 2015].

Narconon – Addiction and Recovery, (2015). The 5 Most Common Behavior Traits of an Addict | Narconon – Addiction and Recovery. [online] Available at: http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/5-common-behavior-traits-addict/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2015].

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